34 men charged over violent brawl at Leeds council-run Bangladeshi centre

Police have charged 34 men over a mass brawl that erupted during a meeting at a council-owned community centre in Leeds.

Extensive damage was caused to the centre
Extensive damage was caused to the centre

Dozens of people were caught up in violence at the Bangladeshi Community Centre, on Roundhay Road, in Harehills, in May last year.

The fight broke out in what is believed to have been a row between two factions over who should run the venue.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

Thirty-four men, aged 17 to 58, have been charged with a total of 56 offences, including violent disorder and possession of offensive weapons.

Supt Pat Twiggs, head of crime for Leeds, said: “As a result of a lengthy and comprehensive investigation and through close liaison with the Crown Prosecution Service’s complex casework unit, we have this week been in a position to bring a total of 56 charges against 34 individuals.

“A total of 32 men and a 17-year-old youth have been charged with violent disorder, 15 of which have also been charged with possession of an offensive weapon along with a further man. Four of the men have also been charged with assaults, including a section 18 wounding and an attempted section 18 wounding. One man has also been charged with witness intimidation.

“Of the 52 arrested, 16 were released without charge and one man received a caution and another a community resolution.”

Video footage of the brawl showed chairs being thrown across the room, men brandishing sticks and at least one man with a cut to his head.

Weapons including knives, machetes and wrenches were allegedly used as trouble flared and there was extensive damage to the centre.

Those charged are due to appear at Leeds Magistrates Court on April 6 and 8.