Thirteen people have been jailed at court today for offences relating to the Hallowe’en motorbike ‘ride out’ in Leeds city centre and Kirkstall Road.
The twelve men and a woman were sentenced to a total of nearly 15 years in jail at Leeds Crown Court.
They had earlier pleaded guilty to causing a public nuisance following the incident on October 31 last year which led to Kirkstall Road being closed for several hours.
They were arrested as part of Operation Dice, an investigation led by Leeds District CID, following the ‘Mad Max’-style incident where motorbikes and quad bikes congregated in Kirkstall Road before a large number were ridden through the city centre en masse, including through pedestrian areas and shopping arcades.
A series of early morning raids at addresses across Leeds in December last year resulted in the arrests of the main suspects and saw a number of motorbikes seized.
At today’s hearing the defendants were each jailed for a minimum of 12 months:
David Armitage, aged 26, of Brookfield Road, Headingley was jailed for two years; Jamie Ayres, aged 26, of Lupton Avenue, Burmantofts was jailed for 12 months; Omar Ahmed, aged 24, of Stonegate View, Meanwood was jailed for 12 months; Ashley Benson, aged 25, of Whingate Road, Armley was jailed for 12 months; Michael Clough, aged 27, of Torre View, Burmantofts was jailed for 14 months; Ben Colley, aged 26, of Butterbowl Road, Farnley was jailed for 14 months; Dean Fawcett, aged 28, of Intake View, Middleton was jailed for 12 months; Nicholas Flaherty, aged 29, of Prospect Street, Farsley was jailed for 18 months; Rachel Taylor, aged 29, of Nowell Lane, Harehills was jailed for 12 months; Joshua Hawley, aged 22, of Mead Grove, Colton was jailed for 12 months; Dylan Lockwood, aged 23, of Torre Grove, Burmantofts was jailed for 12 months; Adam Nicholson, aged 26, of Henley Terrace, Bramley was jailed for 12 months; and Anton Rojas, aged 26, of Skelton Avenue, Burmantofts was jailed for 12 months.
Ben Colley was also convicted of driving while disqualified and without insurance. Nicholas Flaherty was also convicted of perverting the course of justice.
Chief Superintendent Paul Money, Leeds District Commander, said:
“The behaviour of these individuals and others that night put people’s safety at risk, caused unnecessary fear to the public and created an image of lawlessness in the heart of the city that we simply could not allow to go unchallenged.
“We hope the action we have taken alongside our partners in the local authority and the Crown Prosecution Service will serve to reassure the community and send a very clear deterrent message to anyone thinking of organising or taking part in this type of activity in future.”
The incident also saw Leeds City Council secure a landmark injunction which bans anyone from participating in anti-social driving of motor vehicles, including motorbikes and quad bikes, involving two or more motor vehicles in any public place in the Leeds district. The full order, which carries a power of arrest, was granted for five years at Leeds County Court in January.
The order also forbids people from promoting, organising or publicising the anti-social driving of motor vehicles.
Proactive policing operations were put in place to stop two similar potential ‘ride out’ events planned for Leeds on December 11 and New Year’s Eve.