Second man sentenced over Leicester violence
Adam Yusuf gets a suspended one-year jail term after he pleads guilty to possessing a knife at Sunday’s march. Representative image (iStock)
A second man has been sentenced in connection with Leicester violence which saw the arrest of 47 people since August 28.
Leicester Magistrates’ Court handed down a suspended one-year jail term to Adam Yusuf, 20, after he pleaded guilty to possessing a knife at a march on Sunday.
While Yusuf said he was influenced by social media posts linked to violent confrontations between two groups, the magistrate told him that the behaviour which “brings shame on our city and community relationships” would not be tolerated.
The sentencing came after a 20-year-old man, Amos Noronha of Illingworth Road, was jailed for 10 months for possessing an offensive weapon during the disorder in the city.
A third man, identified as Lukman Patel of Homeway Road has been in police custody after pleading not guilty to possession of an offensive weapon and racially aggravated actions.
Simmering tensions sparked by an India-Pakistan cricket match played in Dubai in August escalated on Saturday when several hundred people took to the streets.
The confrontations, fuelled by “falsehood” on social media, continued on Sunday, forcing the administration to divert officers deployed for the Queen’s funeral to Leicester to restore peace.
Rob Nixon, the temporary chief constable of Leicestershire Police has urged people not to circulate information which they could not validate.
“People are… receiving fake news via social media and then they are forwarding it on, so it’s amplifying the problem, and it’s raising fear,” he told the BBC.
On Saturday’s incidents, Nixon said, “At one point we had got a group of probably 200 on one side and we ended up with a group of probably 600 or 700 on the other.”
“So you’ve got 800 or 900 people in a really close area, being protected by about 100 or so officers,” he said and praised the force for doing “an amazing job in really difficult circumstances.”
“I think there are people from outside of Leicester that are going onto social media and talking about ‘let’s get behind this, let’s travel to Leicester’,” the temporary chief constable said.
“So they are stoking up people from outside of Leicester to try and join a fight, which is probably being fuelled by the social media rhetoric,” he noted.
Leicester remained calm after the weekend clashes but there are reports of unsavoury incidents at Smethwick in the West Midlands.