11 Aug 2011

Child rioters appear in court

Hundreds of people arrested after riots across England are streaming through the courts. Among them a 12-year old who told photographers to f*** off and a 16-year old who was carrying a knife.

More than 1500 people have been arrested across England following four nights of riots in major cities including London, Manchester and Birmingham.

In Nottingham an 11-year-old girl charged with criminal damage was given a nine-month referral order by magistrates.

She was arrested on Tuesday evening after smashing windows at a New Look store in the city and attempting to break windows at a Flannels store at around 11.30pm.

In Manchester a 12-year-old boy and a university undergraduate were among the looters who had “brought shame and disgrace” on the country, a court was told.

Some defendants appeared to have got caught up in the general lawlessness and looked contrite as they stood in the dock, while others, with long records, shrugged their shoulders.

All adult defendants were remanded in custody, none given bail, even if they did not plead guilty to the charges.

Read more: 'Oi - stop destroying our city'

‘I did the wrong thing’

Appearing in a separate youth court, a 12-year-old defendant admitted burglary after being spotted running from a looted Sainsbury’s shop carrying a £7.49 bottle of wine.

He was given an nine month referral order.

The youngster, who cannot be named because of his age, appeared ashamed, telling the court: “I did the wrong thing.”

But outside court his mother, asked by reporters why her son was looting, replied: “Watch your f****** face!” and the youngster told one photographer to “F*** off!”

In the adult courts, among the defendants were Dayle Blinkhorn, 23, and John Millbanks, 26, both from Manchester, caught with a 32″ LCD TV worth £4,500, looted from the Bang and Olufsen shop in the city centre.

Blinkhorn, a full-time carer for his mother and unmarried father of one, told police: “I was a stupid idiot,” when he was caught with the TV.

In London a graduate who hoped to become a social worker admitted stealing a TV during the rioting.

Natasha Reid, 24, from Rosemary Avenue, Edmonton, north London, pleaded guilty to theft and entering with intent to steal at City of Westminster Magistrates’ Court today.

She had been on her way to McDonald’s in Enfield when she noticed a Comet store had been broken into. She stole a £300 JVC television.

Her defence lawyer said Reid handed herself into police because she could not sleep with guilt.

A 16-year-old male youth was sentenced to 12 months detention this afternoon after admitting carrying a kitchen knife with a 5in blade during the second night of disorder in Bristol.

The teenager, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, admitted a charge of possession of a bladed article when he appeared at Bristol Youth Court.

The court heard he was arrested shortly after 1.10am on Wednesday 10 August, when Avon and Somerset Police turned out in force to bring calm to the city streets following the previous night’s unrest.