Security alert at Leeds library when man went to use computer armed with knives

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A MAN caused a security alert when he went into a public library in Leeds armed with two knives.

Aler Riak was arrested in the Compton Centre in Harehills in possession of the weapons after he went into the building to use the computers to look for a job.

Compton Centre in Harehills.

Compton Centre in Harehills.

Leeds Crown Court heard the incident took place during school half-term in the library at the centre while children were present.

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Olivia Murray, prosecuting, said police were contacted by security staff at the centre on October 23 last year after he was spotted at a computer with a kitchen knife.

When police came Riak threw the weapon on to the floor. He was asked to empty his pockets and a took out a second knife.

Riak appeared before magistrates a month later, on November 23, where he pleaded guilty to two offences of possession of a bladed article.

He was bailed to appear for sentencing the following day but failed to attend the hearing and a warrant was issued for his arrest.

Riak, 28, of Lincoln Green Road, Leeds, admitted a further charge of failing to surrender.

Narinder Rathour, mitigating, said Riak had been suffering from mental health problems at the time.

Mr Rathour said Riak was now on medication for his condition and was responding well to treatment.

Riak was given an eight-month prison sentence, suspended for 12 months.

He was ordered to take part in a 20-day rehabilitation programme.

Riak was also made the subject of a seven-day curfew order.

Judge Robin Mairs said the public interest would best be served by Riak continuing to receive treatment in the community.

He said: “This was a library where children on half term were present.

“There is a considerable background in your case.”