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Two men given £10,000 fines over snowball fight in Leeds

Two men involved in organising a mass snowball fight in Leeds in breach of coronavirus restrictions have each been given £10,000 fines.

The men, aged 20 and 23, were identified as a result of police enquiries following the incident on 14 January which saw hundreds of people gather on Woodhouse Moor in close proximity to each other for more than two hours.

West Yorkshire Police said organising any such gathering of more than 30 people was illegal and left organisers liable to a £10,000 fine under coronavirus legislation.

The men were interviewed yesterday and today (27-28 January) in relation to the incident and reported for fixed penalty notices to be issued against them.

The 23-year-old had previously received a fine for breaching restrictions in relation to mixing households at an address in Hyde Park in November.

Chief Superintendent Damien Miller, Leeds District Commander, said: “We take absolutely no pleasure in handing out such heavy fines to these two young men but their actions encouraged hundreds of people to be in close proximity to each other, creating a significant and completely unnecessary risk of increasing the spread of the virus.

“It was a blatant breach of the legislation that is in place to help keep people safe at what remains a critical time for us all."

He added: “The event attracted understandable media attention and widespread public condemnation of all those who irresponsibly took part.

“That said, it remains clear that the vast majority of people recognise the need for collective responsibility and are continuing to stick with the regulations that are there to protect our families and our communities.

“We will continue our approach of engaging, explaining and encouraging compliance but we won’t hesitate to enforce the law where people blatantly disregard the rules and put others at risk.”

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