Man injured eleven people in random violent attacks in Leeds city centre

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TWO elderly women were among 11 people injured when a man went on a rampage of violent random attacks in Leeds city centre, a court heard.

A 77-year woman needed hospital treatment after suffering a head injury and another pensioner needed stitches to a facial injury after being punched to the floor during the violence carried out by Zafar Iqbal.

Other victims included a 14-year-old girl and two 17-year-olds during the unprovoked attacks.

Heavily-built Iqbal also punched a man and tried to hit his partner as they walked along Boar Lane pushing a one-year-old baby in a pram. Leeds Crown Court heard Iqbal, 46, suddenly turned violent while in the city centre on Saturday October 29, 2013, in the early afternoon.

Attacks took place on Briggate, Duncan Street and in the area of Boar Lane.

Iqbal was eventually caught after witnesses were disgusted by the attacks on the elderly women and followed him to the Lincoln Green area of the city where he was arrested by police officers.

Some of the attacks were captured on mobile phone footage by witnesses.

After he was arrested Iqbal told police the attacks were necessary because people “would not get out of his way.”

A jury found that Iqbal had committed two acts of assault occasioning actual bodily harm and nine of common assault. Deborah Smithies, prosecuting, said: “These are 11 offences of unprovoked violence against complete strangers.” Iqbal was made the subject of an indefinate hospital order under the Mental Health Act after the court heard he is thought to be suffering from paranoid schizophrenia and continues to pose a risk to members of the public.

Judge James Spencer, QC, told Iqbal it was necessary to impose the order as he had been found to be suffering from a mental disorder.

The judge said Iqbal would not be discharged from hospital unless he could demonstrate that he no longer had the condition.

He added: “For the moment you must go to hospital and I hope you get better soon.”

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