Teenager brandished kitchen knife during major incident when mass brawl broke out between feuding families in West Yorkshire street

A teenager who brandished a kitchen knife during a large-scale street fight between two families has avoided being sent to custody.

Monday, 7th September 2020, 4:45 pm
Updated Tuesday, 8th September 2020, 2:51 pm

Police were called to Cow Lane, Knottingley, on July 21 last year because of the disorder that one witness said involved around 15 or 16 people, including 19-year-old Leon Sykes.

Graham O'Sullivan, prosecuting, told Leeds Crown Court how the incident took place outside Sykes' father's home between his family and the family of another teenager.

During the violence, Sykes' father received wounds to his head and face and a blood-stained broken broom handle was found nearby.

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Leeds Crown Court

Mr O'Sullivan added that it was the violence on his father that became the "catalyst of the offender's behaviour".

Sykes was seen by several witnesses brandishing a large kitchen knife but then dropped it.

Witnesses also said they saw Sykes kicking a person in the head as they were on the floor.

Mr O'Sullivan said that Sykes was arrested but said very little during interview, but did make comments about protecting his family.

Sykes admitted affray, possessing a knife in public and possession of cannabis after a small amount of the drug was found on him after

his arrest.

A probation report suggested that he accepted he behaved badly and in an aggressive manner.

Sykes, who has no fixed address, has five previous convictions, including burglary.

Judge Robin Mairs said: "In many ways I should lock you up for these offences, but I won't do because of the unusual circumstances.

"A male came to your address wanting to cause violence to you and your family and they did.

"This was quite a major incident, it could have had catastrophic consequences."

Sykes was given a 15-month sentence, suspended for two years, adding: "Whether you go to detention or not is your choice.

"If you breach this you will be back in front of me.

"If we do meet again, it's not going to end well, at least not for you."