Youths who brought the City to a standstill last year brawling with rocks, clubs and knives were attending a course at Pinsent Masons.
A large section of the Square Mile was cordoned off on Monday 24 February last year after six men fought a running battle though Bishopsgate. The fight began at 2pm outside Liverpool Street Station before spilling out into the street, and was so serious that City workers were instructed to stay inside their offices. Bishopsgate was roped off by police until 6pm, causing traffic gridlock.
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A witness said there was “blood everywhere”, adding “One of the victims, a black man, was on the floor and didn’t look too good. He was holding the left side of his stomach”.
An employee at the RBS headquarters, which is opposite the station, told the Evening Standard, “I looked out my window and it was really eerie - just loads of police but the rest of the road quiet". Police arrested six men, including three who received hospital treatment for their injuries.
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"There's loads of rumours", said the RBS staffer at the time, "including that the men worked at RBS". However, it has now emerged that the streetfighters came from Pinsent Masons, although they were not staff. At their trial at the Old Bailey, it has been revealed that all six were on a course run by the firm as part of its work with Tomorrow's People, a charity which seeks to help disadvantaged young people into jobs.
RollOnFriday sources say that the defendants were attending a CV workshop when three of them, Almahda Ali, 22, Raheem Simon, 20, and Perry Jessep, 20, fell out with the other three youths on the course, Aaron Taylor, Ridwan Ibrahim and Khalid Youssef, all 19.
After leaving Pinsent Masons' office at Crown Place the disagreement escalated quickly. During the ensuing melee the men fought with rocks, clubs and knives as passersby ran to safety. Simon was seen to kung fu kick one of his coursemates in the head before collapsing in Bishopsgate after realising he had been stabbed.
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All six have now been found guilty of affray and possession of an offensive weapon. They have each been fined up to £500 and sentenced to between six and 12 months in a Young Offenders Institute.
A Pinsent Masons spokesman told RollOnFriday, "We are proud of the work we have done with Tomorrow's People over several years to help and support some of the most disadvantaged young people in the UK". He said, "This matter highlights both the scale of the challenge faced, and importance of the work that Tomorrow’s People and similar organisations undertake to meet it".