The Lord Mayor of Leeds had to “dial for his freedom” yesterday after he was locked up in the cells of the town hall and told he would not be released until he had raised £1,000 for charity.
Councillor Gerry Harper was joined by five cell mates to raise money for Epilepsy Action and Heart Research UK.
The group, dubbed the “Super Six”, were caged with just their mobile phones and told they had two hours to call people up and raise the funds.
But they smashed through their targets and made an impressive £8,000.
The Lord Mayor, who has epilepsy, said: “It was so much fun taking part in the jailbreak event and I can’t thank the other participants enough for giving up their free time to raise money for my chosen charities.”
Other members of the Super Six included general manager of the First Direct Arena Ben Williams, Leeds Chamber of Commerce president Gerald Jennings, chair of Leeds Hindu Charitable trust Niranjan Vakharia, business consultant Ron Millet and entrepreneur Terry George.
The men were sentenced by Judge Eric Amber after being brought in on unique charges, such as “terrible out-of-tune singing on the terraces at Elland Road”, “eating too much Toblerone” and “failure to maintain orderly facial hair”.
Barbara Harpham of Heart Research UK said: “It was great to hear the Lord Mayor singing from his heart while in the cells, keeping the spirits up of the Super Six.
“We thank everyone for digging deep to bail them out.”
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