COVID-19: Two men fined £10,000 each for breaking lockdown rules after mass snowball fight in Leeds

·2-min read

Two men have been fined £10,000 each after organising a massive snowball fight in Leeds.

The pair - aged 20 and 23 - were slapped with the bills as the frosty fracas was branded a blatant "breach of the legislation" by West Yorkshire Police.

Crowds of people flocked to Woodhouse Moor in Hyde Park, Leeds, on 14 January, with footage of the gathering shared on social media.

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In a statement today, the police said the 23-year-old was previously fined for breaching restrictions in November, last year.

They said incident was "in relation to mixing households at an address in Hyde Park".

Organisation for the event took place in part on social media.

At the time, a 20-year-old man, who gave his name only as Adam, said students from various universities took part, as well as non-students.

He said: "It was a very welcome relief... a welcome laugh that people needed.

"I know many students who are extremely depressed, and stressed with online exams and have had little support.

"Mental health is equally as important as physical health... so many young people and students really have nothing to keep them going at this point."

Woodhouse Moor is located next to the University of Leeds, and Leeds Beckett University is nearby.

Chief Superintendent Damien Miller 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.

"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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