Welcome to the Huddersfield Examiner's breaking news service.
The main news today was 29 people, including 24 Huddersfield men and two women, appeared before Kirklees Magistrates Court charged with historic child sex offences relating to 18 girls. You can see our recap of the events below.
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That’s all from the blog today. Have a nice evening.
Rush Hour Round-up
Comparatively quiet on the roads at the moment because of the Easter school holidays.
Slow traffic on the following roads:
- A6107 Bradley Road
- A62 Leeds Road headed to the Three Nuns roundabout
No major problems on the M62. Slowing down eastbound past junction 25 (Brighouse). Further afield it’s pretty slow westbound between junctions 28 and 27.
Mounted police patrol town centre following child sex exploitation hearing
Scenes from outside today's child sex exploitation hearing
Teens robbed at knifepoint in Rastrick
Also in Huddersfield news this afternoon, police are appealing for information on a robbery which happened in Rastrick last night.
Three teenage boys aged between 16 and 17 were approached by two youths brandishing a flick knife who demanded cash near Carr Green park at around 7.30pm.
The suspects, both male, also demanded one of the victims hand over their black North Face jacket, black North Face gloves and a black New York Yankees baseball cap. The suspects then made off on foot. If you witnessed the incident or have any information, please call police via 101.
Detective Sergeant Nick Speed, of Calderdale CID, said:
“This was an extremely frightening incident for those involved and our enquiries remain ongoing.”
29 defendants up at court: Summary of events
Here is a recap of this morning’s events at court:
- 29 people appeared at Kirklees Magistrates’ Court charged with various charges relating to the alleged sex abuse of 18 girls
- The charges are historic and relate to offences alleged to have occurred between 2004 and 2011
- 26 of the defendants are from Huddersfield; including 24 men and two women
- Three of the defendants which appeared were in custody; the rest have all been bailed
- The charges were read out before magistrates - you can see the full list and names and ages of defendants here
- The case has been committed to Leeds Crown Court for a hearing on May 11
- Police patrolled the grounds outside the entrance to the court as several protesters including former EDL spokesman Tommy Robsinon were outside, although they have confirmed that no one was arrested
- The case has now been adjourned and will resume at Leeds Crown Court next month
Female defendant pictured outside court
Here is defendant Naveeda Habib (centre), 38, arriving at court with a solicitor (left) earlier.
Habib, from Huddersfield, is charged with one count of child neglect.
Pictured: Defendants cover faces as they arrive at court earlier
A few more pictures from court this morning.
WATCH: Defendants leave court
Here is some video of the defendants leaving court earlier. The footage contains potentially offensive language, so watch at your own discretion.
Case has been adjourned
The case has now been heard and adjourned.
All 29 defendants are scheduled to appear at Leeds Crown Court next month.
Pictured: Defendant facing 55 charges arriving at court
Here is defendant Amere Singh Dhaliwal arriving at court earlier, who faces 55 charges - the most of all defendants.
He is charged with rape (x21), supply of Class A drugs (x4), supply of Class B drugs, supply of controlled substances with intention to engage in sexual activity, trafficking a female within the UK with a view to her sexual exploitation (x14), inciting a child to engage in sexual activity (x5), sexual assault by penetration, sexual touching (x3), possession of indecent images of a child (x3), racially aggravated assault and inciting a child into prostitution.
20 defendants now heard from
The court has now seen 20 of the 29 defendants - three of which were in custody.
Just nine more to go.
A third of the cases have been heard so far
Application to change solicitor denied
One defendant’s application to change his legal representative has been denied:
Just three out of 29 cases heard so far
Reporter Joanne Douglas is in court. Here’s the situation at the moment...
“Dealing with the cases has slowed a little as the district judge considers change of solicitors/addresses etc”.
She add that “just 3 cases” have been heard so far.
Separate live updates on M62 delays
We are running a separate live blog for the ongoing delays on the M62.
You can see our updates here. Highways England are reporting delays of over an hour.
Charges are read out against the first group of defendants
Here’s the latest from Joanne at court.
Major delays on the M62
In other news in the area this morning - there are likely to be huge hold ups on the M62 this lunchtime.
Two lanes have been closed westbound between junctions 23 and 22 near Huddersfield due to a broken down tanker. One lane has similarly been closed eastbound near to junction 26 for Chain Bar due to a broken down car.
Do avoid the motorway if you can. Here’s the scene near junction 23 on Rishworth Moor heading towards Greater Manchester at the moment.
List of defendants' names and charges
There may be a little delay while the hearings are being dealt with in court currently.
Once again, here are the names of all 29 defendants and the list of charges against each. It includes 24 men and two women from Huddersfield.
It is likely little detail will be heard today and that the case will be committed to crown court as the charges are indictable-only offences. This means that magistrates do not have the legal powers to deal with the case.
Reports of hostility on New Street
We’ve been hearing reports of hostility in the town centre on New Street this morning.
A witness has told us of shouts heard saying “I’m not a paedophile” near the Primark store. Police are currently in attendance.
It’s unclear whether this is related to the case this morning.
WATCH: Tommy Robinson confronts people outside court
EDL protester Tommy Robinson has been captured confronting people outside the court this morning. A word of warning, it is unclear whether the people in this video are involved in this case or not.
This video has been edited so offensive language has been dubbed out.
Hearings get underway
Court is now sitting.
Case to be split into three hearings due to number of defendants
There are said to be three separate hearing for the case this morning, due to the number of defendants.
The first hearing will deal with ten of the defendants, while the second will concern nine and the last ten will be heard in the third session.
Pictured: EDL's Tommy Robinson outside court
Here is a picture of EDL protester Tommy Robinson being confronted by police officers outside court this morning.
This image was taken and tweeted by BBC journalist Tracy Gee.
Full story ahead of proceedings
Here is our full story ahead of today’s proceedings.
We are unlikely to hear any details of the case this morning - the appearance is a routine magistrates hearing that is likely to only last a few minutes.
WATCH: Reporter Joanne Douglas is live outside court
Reporter Joanne is live outside the court. Here is her Facebook Live coverage:
Police presence outside court
Police have confirmed planned presence outside court in the event of far-right protests.
A spokeswoman said:
We are aware of the court appearance this week (12 April) at Kirklees Magistrates Court of 29 people charged with various offences and there will be an appropriate policing response.
Reports that EDL's Tommy Robinson is outside Kirklees Magistrates
Some video from the scene. We’ve had word that EDL former leader Tommy Robinson is currently outside court confronting defendants.
A word of warning that there are legal implications on covering this case, and as such we will be monitoring comments on any of our social media coverage.
WARNING: This video contains strong and offensive language.
Protesters outside court
There are a few protesters outside court at the moment - it’s unclear if they’re from any specific group.
Here is the scene.
Defendants arrive at Kirklees Magistrates
We have two reporters at Kirklees Magistrates this morning. Reporter Joanne is outside where defendants have been arriving.
Press have also been gathering. Lots of interest in this case. Here is some of Joanne’s coverage so far.