Thirteen motorcyclists convicted after mass bike ride through Leeds

11/07/2017

Thirteen motorcyclists have been sentenced today (11 July) for taking part in a mass ride which caused widespread chaos in Leeds city centre.

Around 100 bikers were involved in the Halloween 'ride-out' in October 2016, which was arranged on social media.  They split into two groups,driving en masse and at speed through red lights, on pavements and through a pedestrian precinct busy with shoppers. Approximately 60 bikers drove through the Leeds central shopping arcade, a historic covered  area, barely 16 feet wide. 

The police received over 160 complaints from members of the public.  Emergency road closures were put in place to contain the disruption and a police helicopter was deployed.

The defendants pleaded guilty to causing a public nuisance and received a variety of sentences, ranging from 12 months to two years' imprisonment.

David Armitage, who organised the event online, was sentenced to two  years' imprisonment  and was disqualified from driving for 18 months.

Another rider, Nicholas Flaherty,  was sentenced to 18 months' imprisonment and was disqualified for 18 months for perverting the course of justice, by encouraging the other participants to dispose of evidence such as their bikes and clothing in the aftermath of the incident.

Michael Quinn from the CPS said: "These defendants set out to cause what they termed online as, 'carnage' and 'mayhem' in Leeds that day. Many of the public were extremely frightened by these criminal acts.  It is only by good fortune that no one was seriously injured or killed.

"The CPS worked with police to ensure that those responsible faced charges that reflected the danger and widespread alarm they caused. Today's sentences should leave them in no doubt of the serious consequences of this type of criminal behaviour.   They risk  custody  and driving bans." 

Notes

Michael Quinn is a Senior District Crown Prosecutor with CPS Yorkshire and Humberside.

The remaining eleven defendants were sentenced as follows:

Dean Fawcett – 12 months' imprisonment  and disqualification for  18 months

Joshua Hawley – 12 months' imprisonment  and disqualification for 18 months

Michael Clough – 14 months' imprisonment  and disqualification for  18 months

Adam Nicholson – 12 months' imprisonment and disqualification for  18 months

Ashley Benson –12 months' imprisonment  and disqualification for  18 months

Jamie Ayres - 12 months' imprisonment  and disqualification for  18 months

Anton Rojas - 12 months' imprisonment  and disqualification for  18 months

Dylan Lockwood – 12 months' imprisonment and disqualification for  18 months

Omar Ahmed – 12 months' imprisonment  and disqualification  18 months

Ben Colley –  14 months' imprisonment  and disqualification for 18 months

Rachel Taylor (aka Gibson) – 12 months' imprisonment  and disqualification for  18 months