Birmingham City hooligan threw traffic cone at mounted police officers during crowd trouble at Elland Road

A Birmingham City hooligan who threw a traffic cone at mounted police officers during a violent clash at Elland Road has avoided an immediate prison sentence.

Monday, 1st March 2021, 11:45 am

Kai Harper pleaded guilty to violent disorder after he was caught on camera throwing the cone at officers on horseback during the Leeds United centenary celebrations in October 2019.

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

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

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Elland Road

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 has heard how the incident was described as being like a "war zone".

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Harper, 22, was arrested after being identified from the camera footage has he came down from the upper tier of the stand before throwing throwing a cone which missed the officers.

Judge Andrew Stubbs QC said: "Those Birmingham City fans were there by design, not accident.

"Many like you climbed down from a higher tier in the stands.

"By sheer force of numbers of those involved, the task of the police and the stewards was made more difficult.

"You picked up a traffic cone and threw it over the gates towards mounted officers who were riding past.

"It did not hit anybody but that was purely by chance."

The court heard Harper has stopped drinking alcohol since the since incident and had been diagnosed with ADHD.

Harper, of Park End, Birmingham, was given a six-month prison sentence, suspended for 12 months, and was ordered to do 140 hours of unpaid work.