IT is appalling that scenes of extreme violence should break out at what is, after all, a sporting event.
The fact that children had to run for cover amid ‘serious mob violence’ at a Leeds boxing bout is sickening. Other youngsters had to be ushered into a cloakroom to avoid the trouble at Leeds United’s Centenary Pavilion.
In all sports, rivalry is an essential part of the game but it should be good-natured sporting rivalry.
We are pleased that the courts have deemed this violence to be so serious that 16 people – men and women – have received prison sentences
The prosecutor said there had been an “exchange of insults” on social media between supporters of rival boxers from Leeds and Wakefield in the run-up to the event.
Organisers were aware of the trouble and efforts were made to separate the two groups on the night. Security guards were powerless to stop the fighting, which lasted around 15 minutes. The court was told: “The scene was one of total chaos.”
The Judge said: “Serious mob violence in these circumstances is so serious that, in my judgement, my public duty requires me to pass immediate custodial sentences.”
We agree. And we hope others who see to use sporting events as cover for violence will take heed.