Friday, July 29, 2005

"Worse than Being in Manchester City Centre on Derby Day"

I'm back already.

Had to leave you with this from the Sale and Altrincham Messenger:

Race fears at disco riot

A junior disco attended by more than 500 children at Altrincham Leisure Centre turned into a riot as fights broke out with people from a neighbouring wedding function.

Trafford police - assisted by riot squad officers from GMP's tactical aid unit - attended the incident on Oakfield Road, last Saturday, just after 10.55pm.

Two officers suffered minor injuries and CS gas had to be used to bring the crowd under control.

A number of people caught up in the altercation also suffered minor injuries. Two boys, aged 12 and 15-years-old, were released from hospital after being treated for minor rib and head injuries respectively.

Six arrests were made outside the centre including: two 16-year-old boys from Old Trafford and a 15-year-old boy from Stretford. Two men aged 19 and 21-years-old received on the spot fines.

As the crowd was dispersed police escorted a group of about 50 people, who had travelled from outside Trafford, onto trams at Altrincham Metrolink station.

No further fights broke out but three men - a 19-year-old from Broadheath, a 21-year-old from Sale and a 19-year-old from Stretford - were arrested on suspicion of criminal damage.

Supt Peter Aaronson, head of operations at Trafford, said: "It was a horrific display of public disorder that was totally uncalled for by all concerned and the courts will decide ultimately on the appropriate action for those convicted."

He added: "We are still gathering evidence from CCTV which we are examining and further charges are likely."

It is believed the trouble started when a group of 10 youths from the disco tried to gatecrash the wedding reception in another part of the leisure centre.

Shortly afterwards, at about 10.30pm, a fight broke out between a small group of men from the wedding and a doorman. The trouble inside the building stopped but then a second incident started outside.

Eyewitnesses report a blue van pulling up near the leisure centre and a gang of men jumping out. SAM understands allegations have also been made that the violence escalated after racist comments were made.

Door staff attempted to hold back the gang as scuffles broke out and teenagers - who had left the disco - were involved.

Organisers of the "Candy Club" disco have cancelled all future events at the centre following discussions with Trafford Community Leisure Trust.

The monthly under 16s night began about a year ago when "The Lizard", in Alderly Edge, closed down.

Spokeswoman Amy Clark, said: "The Candy Club team are in total shock and disbelief at the outrageous event that took place on Saturday."

She claimed: "A group of approximately 30 men between the ages of 20 and 30, unconnected to our event, mounted an unprovoked and vicious attack on children between the ages of 11 to 15 who had attended that evening."

She added: "On behalf of Candy Club we would like to express our deepest concerns with the situation that occurred."

Alarmed parents, whose children attended the event, have contacted the Messenger.

Nicola Doherty, 31, from Brooklands, collected her 13-year-old daughter from Club Candy. She said: "I arrived at about 10.55pm to pick up my daughter and four of her friends.

"Outside there was no police and girls were crying and hiding under trees while staff from the Candy Club were trying to calm the children down."

She added: "Grown men had been hurling racial remarks to provoke a reaction. I've been picking up my daughter from this event for over a year and I've never seen anything like this before.

"I think it's disgusting - it was worse than being in Manchester city centre on derby day. There was a lot of people running around and screaming - it was just bedlam."

Another mother, who wished to remain anon-ymous, told SAM she was angry her 13-year-old son and his friends were let-out of the club while the trouble was going on.

She said: "As they left they saw blood on the path outside and were threatened by a gang of men. The children ran off in terror and found refuge in a nearby pub where the landlady helped them."


Unknown said...

Well that's cheered me up and restored my faith in human nature, thanks.

Martin said...

Makes you wonder how bad the music at the kid's disco was that they had to gatecrash a wedding.And why does the word "race" appear in the headline? Turn to page 19 to find out that racist comments were made, hence "race riot".