A TEENAGER tried to jump from a Crown court dock as he was jailed after being convicted of murder.
Police and security officers had to detain members of the 17-year-old’s family in dramatic scenes at Leeds Crown Court as he was sentenced for stabbing 27-year-old Christopher Wade.
One man was arrested after a toughened glass barrier was smashed and the public seating area was showered with glass during the disturbance.
The teenager, who cannot be named, was dragged into the cell area by dock officers as he tried to flee after being told he would have to spend a minimum of 15 years in custody over the killing.
Police are continuing to investigate the disturbance.
The courtroom had to be closed and the sentencing hearing resumed in another courtroom because of the damage caused.
Chief Superintendent Paul Money, Leeds District Commander, said: “The serious disorder that occurred in the courtroom during sentencing is being fully investigated. The situation was brought under control initially by detectives who were in court for the case and then by uniformed officers who were called in.
“One man was arrested on suspicion of affray and criminal damage and subsequently bailed. We are continuing detailed enquiries into all aspects of this incident and it is anticipated that further arrests will be made.”
“These were appalling scenes and we simply will not tolerate behaviour that causes disruption to the administration of criminal justice.”
The incident took place at the end of a four week trial in which the youth and four other men were accused of murdering Mr Wade.
Mr Wade died after a kitchen knife penetrated his thigh during the incident in Farnley, Leeds.
The teenager, aged 16 at the time, inflicted the wound during the confrontation between two groups on May 5 this year on waste ground behind shops on Whincover Drive, near to the Butterbowl pub.
The fatal attack happened during a fight between two rival groups over a cannabis debt.
Prosecutors said the teenager deliberately armed himself with the weapon before going to the scene. The teenager was told he would be detained at Her Majesty’s pleasure after being found guilty of murder and violent disorder over the killing.
The Recorder of Leeds, Judge Peter Collier, QC, told the youngster: “I am satisfied your intention was to cause serious injury rather that kill.”
Kyle Hirst, of St Ives Mount, Armley, was found guilty of manslaughter and violent disorder and was jailed for 12 years.
The court heard Hirst was aware that the 17-year-old was armed with a knife when they went to the scene.
The judge added: “This was a short-lived incident lasting less than a minute, with tremendous consequences.”
Three other men were found not guilty of murder and violent disorder.
They were: Jordan Beers, 19, of Whincover Close, Armley; Jack Sneaton, 18, of Wortley Towers, and Frankie Mongan, 19, Bangor Street, Farnley.
After the case, Detective Chief Inspector Jim Dunkerley, of West Yorkshire Police Homicide and Major Enquiry Team, said: “Christopher Wade was murdered in an appalling explosion of violence, and his death was completely unnecessary. Sadly, it illustrates once again the terrible consequences that occur when people are prepared to carry and use knives.
“We hope the significant sentences handed down to those convicted over his killing will provide some degree of comfort to his family and help to reassure the wider community.”