Seven in court after Barclays bank daubed in paint

Seven people have appeared in court charged with conspiracy to commit criminal damage, after a branch of Barclays bank in Leeds was sprayed with red paint.

The building, in Albion Street, was covered with paint at about 02:27 BST on Thursday, Leeds Magistrates Court was told.

It is also alleged that the bank's windows were smashed, with more than £50,000 worth of damage caused to the property.

A branch of Greggs and The Pinnacle beer hall, which sit on either side of the bank, were also spattered with paint during the incident, the court heard.

Yusra Ahmed, 19, of St Catherines Walk, Leeds, Nagina Naz, 45, of Bartle Close, Bradford, Elliot Wilson, 24, of Chestnut Grove, Liverpool and Francesca Nadin, 38, of Sholebroke Avenue, Leeds, all appeared separately in the dock at court, having been held in custody since being charged.

Albert Naumov, 29, of no fixed abode, Archana Bargota, 44, of Oakwood Lane, Gipton, and 69-year-old Susan Price, of Girnhill Lane, Featherstone, appeared alongside each other to hear the charges against them.

Ms Price was also charged with dangerous driving.

The court was told the five women and two men were arrested after the vehicle they were travelling in was stopped by police in the Armley area of Leeds in the early hours of Thursday.

Prosecutor Rebecca Dunford said the alleged offence was motivated by pro-Palestinian sentiment.

Several Barclays branches across the country have been covered with red paint in recent weeks, with protestors calling on the bank to end its links to Israeli companies they say are linked to the weapons trade and fossil fuels.

The bank has previously said it does not directly invest in any weapons firms, but does provide "vital financial services" to US, UK and European public firms that supply defence products to NATO and its allies".

None of the five women and two men entered pleas during the hearings on Saturday.

Six of the defendants were granted conditional bail and were told to appear before Leeds Crown Court on 29 July.

Ms Nadin was remanded in custody until the next court appearance.

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