Birmingham City hooligan threw smoke bomb at Leeds United fans and made 'Zulu' hand gesture during violent clash which marred centenary celebrations at Elland Road

A Birmingham City hooligan threw a smoke bomb at Leeds United supporters and made a 'Zulu' hand gesture during a violent clash during a league match at Elland Road.

Sunday, 10th January 2021, 6:00 am

A court heard details of Jake Gould's involvement in the violent disorder which marred Leeds' centenary celebrations in October 2019.

Gould is one of the last defendants to be sentenced over the ugly scenes described as 'the worst violence in a decade' at Elland Road.

Football banning orders totalling more than 100 years have already been handed out to football fans who were involved.

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Elland Road

Crowd trouble began in the West Stand towards the end of the match, with stewards and police officers responding to the situation.

Further disorder occurred outside the ground and continued for around 45 minutes before the crowds were dispersed by police.

A number of stewards and police officers were assaulted during the incidents, which also saw missiles, including bottles and cones, thrown at both mounted officers and officers on foot.

Leeds Crown Court heard Gould was captured on CCTV footage with a large group of fans in the upper section of the West Stand.

Video images showed him gesturing to the Leeds United supports and making a 'Z' gesture with his hands.

The court heard the sign represents 'Zulu' which is gesture linked to hooligans who follow Birmingham City.

Gould then made his way to a "thin blue line" of police officers separating the two sets of fans.

At one point the defendant picked up a smoke bomb and threw it towards the Leeds supporters.

Gould then climbed back into the stands and stood on a partition between the upper and lower sections of the West Stand.

He could be seen making a further Zulu hand gesture before jumping back down towards the police line.

The court heard the defendant made his way towards a "tussle" between stewards and away fans and he continued to make the hand gesture.

Gould also appeared to be filming the events on his mobile phone.

The 25-year-old was identified after police issued a press appeal to trace the culprits involved in the disturbance..

When interviewed he told officers he had drunk six or seven pints before and during the game.

He accepted that his actions were reckless and said he did not know why he behaved in the way that he did.

Gould, of Maybridge Drive, Solihull, pleaded guilty to violent disorder.

Probation officer Malcolm Brown told the court Gould accepted that he could not remember much about the incident because of the amount he had to drink.

Gould said in interview that it was the first away game he had attended.

The defendant's barrister said he was sorry for his actions and accepted that he had behaved stupidly.

Gould was given a six month prison sentence, suspended for 18 months.

He was also ordered to do 160 hours of unpaid work and was made the subject of a football banning order for four years.