Man pleads guilty to playing part in violent clashes after Rotherham protests

Riot vans in Rotherham on the day of the disorder
Riot vans in Rotherham on the day of the disorder
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A man has pleaded guilty to taking part in violent clashes following demonstrations in Rotherham in September.

Mahroof Sultan, aged 36, of Grosvenor Road, Eastwood, admitted a charge of violent disorder when he appeared at Sheffield Crown Court today alongside 11 other defendants.

He admitted playing a part in serious disorder involving clashes between rival groups in Rotherham town centre following a Britain First-led demonstration and counter-protest by Unite Against Fascism on September 5.

The other 11 men in the dock gave no indication of plea at the preliminary hearing and will next appear at court in March before a potential trial starts next October, scheduled to run for three to four weeks.

Sultan was granted bail and will be sentenced at the conclusion of the trial of the others allegedly involved.

Judge Paul Watson QC told him: “You mustn’t take the fact I have granted you bail as an indication as to what is going to happen – you have pleaded guilty to a serious offence.”

Also in court yesterday charged with violent disorder were Haseeb Alam, 18, of Selwyn Street, Eastwood, Abrar Javid, 37, of St Johns Road, Eastwood, Sadaqat Ali, 39, of Milton Road, Eastwood, Mohammed Saleem, 43, of Mount Street, Rotherham, Arshad Khan, 44, of Wellgate Mount, Rotherham, Shaban Ditta, 31, of Cambridge Crescent, East Dene, Akaash Nazir, 21, Cow Rakes Lane, Whiston, Imran Iqbal, 29, Clough Road, Masbrough, Nasrum Rashid, 21, of Fraser Road, Broom, and 17-year-old who cannot be named for legal reasons.

Asif Zaman, 47, of Wellgate Mount, Rotherham, has also been charged with possession of an offensive weapon in addition to violent disorder.

A further seven men also accused of playing a part in the disorder are due to appear at Sheffield Crown Court tomorrow.

David Woodward, 47, of Church View, Sowerby Bridge, Andrew Fox, 47, of Mount Avenue, Halifax, Dennis Farrell, 30, of Hunterhill Road, Halifax, Reece Mclaren, 20, of Darbyfields, Golcar, Huddersfield, Daniel Luty, 19, of Redshank Road, Wath, Henry Fisher, 20, of Rockingham Road, Swinton and John Sheridan, 25, of Henly Way, Masbrough, will face a preliminary hearing today.

Simon Kealey, prosecuting, said today it may be necessary to have more than one trial, depending on the number of eventual defendants pleading not guilty.