Two more locked up over Harehills Bonfire Night disorder

Two more men have been locked up for their part in a large scale Bonfire Night disorder in Harehills when police, firefighters and members of the public were pelted with fireworks and bricks.

Friday, 5th February 2021, 6:52 pm

Six police officers were injured when dozens of youths and young men launched indiscriminate attacks on November 5 2019, Leeds Crown Court heard.

They set up barricades to block Harehills Road using wheeled bins and road barriers before setting them on fire during the large scale disturbance, which lasted four to five hours.

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Nikolas Gasper (left) and Timotei Avadanei (right)

Four buses and six police cars were damaged during the violence as police in riot gear were targeted amid shocking scenes captured on CCTV and police body-worn cameras.

The court heard crowds cheered when fireworks exploded after being thrown at police.

Damage to property and the council clean up and repairs and police operation and investigation cost a total of almost £200,000

A total of 39 people, both adults and youths, were arrested over the disorder and 13 were eventually charged.

Nikolas Gasper

Timotei Avadanei, aged 20, of Sandhurst Road, Harehills and Nikolas Gasper, aged 18, of Victoria Road, Keighley, both appeared for sentencing today (Friday Feb 5 2020) after pleading guilty to violent disorder.

Avadanei threw a brick which struck a police officer on the protective helmet he was wearing, damaging it beyond repair.

Prosecutor Tom Storey said the officer was taken to hospital suffering from concussion, whiplash and bruising and swelling to his forehead.

Both Avadanei and Gasper were seen throwing missiles at police.

Timotei Avadanei

A firework thrown by one of the dozens of youths and young men struck a member of the public as he walked out of his house before ricocheting into his front room.

Conor Quinn, mitigating for Gasper, said his client is immature and had broken down in tears when he spoke to him before the sentencing hearing.

Mr Quinn said Gasper has had to take responsibility for looking after the youngest of his four brothers because his mother is in hospital suffering from Covid 19.

Speaking in mitigation for himself, married father of three Avadanei, said: "I am guilty and I am sorry for everything."

Judge Simon Batiste sentenced Gasper to 18-months detention in a young offender institution before jailing Avadanei for two years and four months.

Judge Batiste said: "This was, in my view, very serious and sustained large scale public disorder.”

The first three defendants, Georgia Walker, Zohaib Ahmed and Josh Smith, were sent to custody on January 29 after pleading guilty to violent disorder.

Georgia Walker, 19, of Mexborough Grove, Chapeltown, was sent to a young offender institution for 18 months. She was 17 at the time of the incident and was captured on police footage throwing bricks at police officers.

Zohaib Ahmed, 19, of St Wilfrid’s Drive, Harehills, was sentenced to two years.

Josh Smith, 20, of Sutherland Road, Harehills, was jailed for 27 months.

Other defendants are due to appear before the Youth Court on March 1 in relation to the case.