22 Aug 2011

Man charged with starting Croydon furniture shop fire

A man has been remanded in custody charged with starting the blaze that left a south London landmark in ashes during the riots.

Reeve's furniture shop, Croydon

A suspected arsonist has been remanded in custody accused of starting a fire that destroyed a local landmark during riots in Croydon.

Gordon Thompson, 33, is accused of torching the Reeves Furniture Store in the south London suburn on 8 August.

The shop first opened in 1867 and its current owner Trevor Reeves is the fifth generation of the family to run the business.

Thompson, of Waddon Road, Croydon, appeared at Inner London Crown Court for a seven-minute hearing and was remanded in custody to appear for a plea and case management hearing at the same court on 26 September.

He is charged with two counts of arson, as well as two counts of burglary in relation to the alleged theft of a laptop and other items from a branch of House of Fraser. He is also charged with violent disorder in Croydon town centre.

The Metropolitan Police says it has arrested 1,875 people over the riots in London and have charged 1,073 people.

Scotland Yard says officers have recorded more than 3,000 offences, including 1,101 offences of burglary in non-residential buildings, 95 cases of handling stolen goods and 48 reports of serious wounding.

Man charged over Birmingham killings

In Birmingham, a 28-year-old man has also appeared in court charged with perverting the course of justice in connection with the murders of three men, killed as they tried to protect shops from looters in the Winson Green area of the city.

Liam Young, from Winson Green, Birmingham, was remanded in custody by magistrates.

He is the fifth man to be charged by detectives investigating the murders of Haroon Jahan, 21, and brothers Shazad Ali, 30, and Abdul Musavir, 31.

The three men were hit by a car in the early hours of 10 August during riots in Winson Green and were pronounced dead later in hospital.

Four men – Ian Beckford, 30, Joshua Donald, 26, Adam King, 23, and a 17-year-old who cannot be named – have already been charged with murder.