Postman, School Teacher, 11-Year-Old Boy Among Looters Sent To Jail
London, Aug 11: It was the day of reckoning for dozens of looters and rioters who looted goods from shops for the last three days. Not only teenagers, many of those paraded before the courts led apparently respectable lives, reports The Daily Mail.
A postman, a primary school mentor, lifeguard, charity worker and a father of a newborn baby were among defendants appearing alongside schoolchildren and college students to answer charges ranging from theft to violent disorder.
Some wept, some grinned and others merely stood in blank defiance at the magistrates.
The youngest looter was an 11-year-old boy who arrived at court in North London accompanied by his mother clutching a mobile phone in each hand. He was convicted of an unrelated offence only last week and is yet to begin his punishment.
One of the eldest defendants was a 35-year-old new father, who claimed he was trying to buy nappies when he was wrestled to the ground by police in a ransacked supermarket.
The majority of Wednesday's suspects poured through courts in London but many more were expected in the dock over coming days in Manchester, Liverpool, Birmingham and Nottingham.
At one magistrates' court, staff were preparing to work through the night as cells overflowed and suspects were left sitting outside in a queue of police vans.
One official said there were 'mad scenes' as colleagues battled to deal with some of the 371 people charged by the Metropolitan Police.
Many of those in court were young men apparently caught red-handed with stolen TVs, laptops and mobile phones worth thousands of pounds.
They were joined by supposedly respectable professionals and tradesmen whose lawyers said they had been caught up in a 'moment of madness' as anarchy took hold of the streets.
Some stood accused of attempting to incite rioting with incendiary messages on social networking sites.
Judges refused to grant bail in the majority of cases, telling suspects they must face a Crown Court judge who can impose stiffer punishments.
They were told they must remain behind bars to prevent them joining in fresh unrest.
In a handful of cases rioters were dealt with on the spot, including two rioters who were jailed in Manchester and a teenager set free after two days in the cells in the capital. But the vast majority were held in custody.
THE GRAMMAR GIRL: Millionaire's daughter Laura Johnson, 19, was charged with stealing £5,000-worth of electronic goods, including a Toshiba TV, Goodmans TV, microwave and mobile phones.
The goods were allegedly found in a car being driven by Miss Johnson after a branch of Comet in Charlton, south-east London, was raided.
Bexleyheath magistrates heard that a 'public order kit' of balaclava, gloves and a bandana was also found in the car.
Miss Johnson attended St Olave's Grammar School in Orpington, Kent, the fourth best performing state school in the country, after transferring from its sister school Newstead Wood.
She achieved A*s in French, English literature, classical civilisation and geography A-levels, and is now studying English and Italian at Exeter University.
Her parents, Robert and Lindsay Johnson, live in a large detached farmhouse in Orpington. It has extensive grounds and a tennis court. They sold their previous house, near Greenwich, for £930,000 in 2006.
Miss Johnson's parents, who supported her in court, run Avongate, a direct marketing company.
Her father is a businessman with directorships in several companies. He was a director in a company that took over the Daily Sport and Sunday Sport newspapers in 2007.
During her schooling, Miss Johnson offered her services as a tutor. On a website she wrote: 'I was a student at Newstead Wood School for girls and gained four A*s and nine A grades at GCSE.'
Miss Johnson indicated a plea of not guilty to five counts of burglary and was granted bail on condition that she does not associate with the two men allegedly found with her.
She must wear an electronic tag, submit to a curfew between 7pm and 6am and not enter any London postcode. She is due to return to court on September 21.
Camberwell Green magistrates heard that a 17-year-old and Alexander Elliot-Joahill, 18, were allegedly passengers in the car. Both were denied bail and will next appear on September 7.
THE 11-YEAR-OLD: The boy from Romford, Essex, is the youngest person to appear in the dock over the riots.
Brought to Highbury Corner magistrates court by his mother, he admitted stealing a £50 waste bin from a branch of Debenhams. He was arrested on Monday evening with a mob of other children reaching through a broken window.
It emerged it was not the child's first experience with the courts as he was already on a 'referral order' for another, unrelated offence.
Charges of violent disorder were dropped, and he was released on bail under a 6pm-6am curfew. He may leave his home only if accompanied by a family member.
Leaving court, the boy set off alone down the street, before his aunt and mother chased after him, dragging him back by the scruff of his neck.
His mother screamed and swore at the media and was later seen shouting at her son.
THE SCHOOL MENTOR: Alexis Bailey, 31, who works at Stockwell Primary School, was allegedly caught raiding an electrical store in Croydon.
THE CHARITY WORKER: Barry Naine, 42, who works for a St Mungo's homeless hostel in Lewisham, appeared in court charged with burglary.
He is accused of breaking into Primark in Peckham and was remanded in custody.
THE POSTMAN: Jeffrey Ebanks, 32, and his student nephew Jamal Ebanks, 18, were allegedly caught in a car stuffed with electrical goods near a looted Croydon superstore. The teenager, who admitted burglary, claimed he had been 'led astray' by his uncle.
THE SCHOOLBOY: Alexander McQuarrie, 16, from Ibrox, in Glasgow, was remanded in custody over claims he attempted to incite others to riot by setting up a Facebook group entitled 'Let's start a riot in Glasgow'.
THE NEW FATHER: Jason Matthews, 35, was arrested in a branch of Tesco in East Dulwich, South London, on Monday night.
Wearing a bandana over his face, he told police he 'was not one of the bad ones' and needed nappies.
THE FRAUDSTER: Two looters caught with a trolley laden with power tools worth £1,500 told police they did not care if they were stolen.
Convicted fraudster and thief Richard Myles-Palmer, 19, and friend Jason White, 22, were arrested in Southwark. The pair admitted theft and were told they face jail.