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Banning order for Sheffield United fan who injured elderly passenger during Leeds station brawl

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A man has been banned from attending football games for three years after he caused facial injuries to a 70-year-old man during a brawl at the station with rival supporters.

Zakaria Khalifa ,18 was part of a group of Sheffield United fans who became involved in a melee with rival Derby County fans at Leeds station on Saturday, 22 October last year.

The two groups of fans had begun verbally goading and squaring up to each other when they met on the overbridge at the station. The situation quickly escalated and Khalita punched a Derby fan in the face. When he tried to move out of the way to avoid the fan’s retaliation, he ran back into the 70-year-old victim, and hit him hard in the face with the back of his head.

The victim, who was from Leeds and who had been returning from an afternoon out in Manchester, had to be taken to hospital for treatment. 

Following extensive enquiries Khalifa, of Greasbro Road, Sheffield, was identified and arrested. He was sentenced at Leeds Magistrates’ Court on Friday 7 April after pleading guilty to assault, where he was also handed a six week curfew and ordered to pay £170 in costs.
Detective Inspector Mick Dawes said: “CCTV footage clearly shows Khalifa central to instigating the fight on the overbridge that day.

“During the melee he injured an elderly man who was returning home and passing through the station, leaving him with facial injuries. Not only that but other passengers were left extremely alarmed and distressed by his actions and the completely unacceptable behaviour of other members of the group involved.
“The vast majority of football fans are well-behaved but Khalifa was part of a very small minority who sadly don’t go to matches to enjoy the match but attend with more sinister and dangerous intentions. 

“We are committed to protecting the travelling public from this kind of mindless behaviour and would ask that anyone who witnesses it contact us on 0800 405040 or text us on 61016.”

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