Covid: Two fined £10,000 over Leeds snowball fight

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A large group of people have been filmed in a snowball fight in Leeds

Two men who organised a mass snowball fight during the latest coronavirus lockdown have each been fined £10,000.

Hundreds descended on Hyde Park in Leeds when heavy snowfall carpeted the city earlier this month.

West Yorkshire Police said the men, aged 20 and 23, had put those who took part or watched at "a significant and completely unnecessary risk".

Ch Supt Damien Miller said the event on 14 January had been a "blatant breach" of the rules.

"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," he said.

The 23-year-old had previously received a fine for breaching restrictions on mixing households, the force said.

Police declined to give any further details about how the men encouraged people to attend the snowball fight.

Fines of £10,000 can be issued for gatherings of 30 people, or more, and it is against the law to meet socially with anyone outside of your household or support bubble.

More than 42,000 penalties were handed out in England and Wales for Covid regulation breaches between the end of March and 17 January, according to the National Police Chiefs Council.

It said 80% were given to people aged between 18 and 39.

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