Feuding gangs had machetes in riot

Police incident
Police incident

A trio who sparked off a 40-strong confrontation outside a borough takeaway have each been given suspended prison sentences.

Police who arrived on the scene in Leigh town centre feared that some of the protagonists were armed with machetes, Wigan and Leigh magistrates were told.

But it turned out that Farhad Hassan, Nazhad Hasanzada and Omar Hassan Raza were each armed with either a metal bar or a piece of wood, the court heard.

Hasanzada, 23, Hassan, 27, and Raza, 34, each admitted to offences of affray and possession of offensive weapons and were committed to Bolton Crown Court for sentencing.

And now after the three have been dealt with by Judge Richard Gioserano, after prosecutors and their defence teams reviewed CCTV footage captured of the incident, which took place on June 6.

Hassan and Raza, both of Buchanan Street, Leigh, and Hasanzada, of Swan Lane, Huddersfield, were each given six-month prison terms, suspended for two years.

Judge Gioserano also ordered the defendants to undertake 150 hours community service apiece.

Prosecutors told the magistrates court hearing that between 30 and 40 men has assembled outside the Leigh takeaway, which was not named in court.

When the first officers arrived on the scene, the court heard, they found that one of the shop’s windows had been smashed and the defendants were all standing close to the scene, brandishing weapons.

Magistrates were told that the mood of the crowd was particularly “agitated” and the takeaway’s staff said that threats had been issued, which made them fear for their safety.

Hassan was seen by police to be brandishing a piece of wood, which prosecutor Tess Kenyon said was “quickly dropped as the officers approached”.

The two other men, Hasanzada and Raza, were armed with large metal bars, and still appear to be agitated, but they eventually “reluctantly” dropped them also.

The trio were all arrested, to prevent any further disorder, and the crowd eventually dispersed.

Police charged them later and Hassan and Raza were bailed to live at an address in Huddersfield, to reduce the risk of any further trouble in the Leigh area.