England riots: Courts hear roll-call of accused

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Media captionChris Buckler reports on riots

Police have made 1,600 arrests and 796 people have appeared in court following the riots in England, says the Ministry of Justice. And as courts in work round the clock to process a stream of cases, a clearer picture is emerging of who was involved.

Looting and disorder charges continue to dominate proceedings, and are being dealt with quickly, but more serious offences of violent disorder are beginning to be heard.

There are also cases of dishonesty and receiving stolen goods. Such cases rely on gathering evidence, such as police raids to recover goods and examining CCTV, and the defendant can also see the evidence before deciding on a plea. These cases are more complex and are taking longer.

Scotland Yard said it had arrested 1,144 people in London, with 693 being charged.

Some magistrates courts in the capital sat throughout the night for a second time and there were late evening sittings in Birmingham and Manchester.

One student was given a six-month sentence for stealing a case of bottled water, and BBC legal affairs correspondent Clive Coleman said tough sentences were "inevitable" given the public outrage.

Amongst those streaming into the dock at Westminster Magistrates Court was a teenager who has volunteered to be an Olympic Games ambassador.


Described as a "talented sportswoman", Chelsea Ives, 18, allegedly threw bricks at a police car during disturbances in Enfield, north London, on Sunday.

She denied violent disorder, attacking a police car, and two counts of burglary and was remanded in custody until next Wednesday.

A man who admitted handling stolen goods was jailed for 22 weeks at the same court after police found a strimmer and chainsaw worth £100 at his house.

Jamie Spears, 22, of Southwark, had said he bought the chainsaw for £20 "from a junkie" and found the strimmer outside Tesco on the Old Kent Road.

Two teenagers who decided to join in the rioting after returning home from their local youth club have been remanded in custody to be sentenced by the Crown court.

Charlie Burton and Mario Quirssaca, both 18, had spent Monday night playing football at a youth club. The court was told that when Burton got home he saw TV coverage of rioting in Croydon.

He told the police he was "up for it" and wanted to "create havoc", the court was told.

Quirssaca, described as a talented semi-professional footballer - whose first match of the season is on Saturday - said he "wanted to cause chaos".

Both were remanded in custody after admitting violent disorder in Sloane Square. Quirssaca also admitted stealing items worth more than £1,000 from clothing store Hugo Boss. Their families were said to be furious and ashamed.

Caught red-handed

Manchester Magistrates' Court heard details of a case involving a man caught "red-handed" coming out of a looted Maplin electrical store carrying a Macmillan Cancer charity box containing £50.

Judge Berg told Daniel Bell, 30, from Stockport his crime was "probably the most despicable and contemptible I have had to deal with all day".

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Media captionEric Pickles, Communities Secretary: "These people have done their best to destroy neighbourhoods"

He added: "It is breathtakingly wicked. You ought to be ashamed of yourself."

Bell initially indicated he would deny the charges of burglary and theft, but changed his plea to guilty after Judge Berg told his solicitor the evidence was "cogent".

One man has been remanded in custody charged with causing £319,000 of damage to stock in the clothing store Miss Selfridge which was set on fire during rioting in Manchester.

Dane Williamson, 18, of Broughton Road, Salford, was refused bail at Manchester Magistrates' Court and faces a crown court hearing on 18 August. He claimed he was the victim of mistaken identity.

In the same magistrates' court, student Hamza Abubakar, 19, from Moss Side, admitted taking a £200 camcorder from the Maplin electrical store.

Despite no previous convictions, he had his bail application refused and was remanded in custody.

In the same court, Gary Herriot, 47, from Collyhurst, admitted handling £1,000 worth of jewellery from Links of London in Manchester - a store targeted by rioters.

Herriot, who has 126 previous convictions, admitted the charge and will be sentenced at Manchester Crown Court later.

Hammer strapped to leg

Also in Manchester, a 13-year-old boy was given a nine-month referral order after he pleaded guilty to possessing an offensive weapon without lawful excuse.

He had been stopped by police in the city, who discovered he had a hammer strapped to his leg.

He had initially lied to police, saying his mother had asked him to carry it for protection, and also falsely claimed he wanted it for self-defence.

Sentencing him, District Judge Khalid Qureshi warned him that if he had been aged 15 he would have been sent to the cells.

"The stupidity of arming yourself with a weapon is unbelievable. Never, never does it make it a less dangerous situation to arm yourself with a hammer, particularly upon an occasion when there was chaos at the time."

The teenager, who promised never to accept a Facebook invitation to a riot again, told the judge: "To be honest, it's the worst, stupidest thing I have ever done."

Stolen goods

Back at Westminster Magistrates Court, a care worker with a two-year-old child - charged with receiving stolen goods including four TV sets - was refused bail.

Regina Appiah, 25, from Clapham Park Estate, was likely to lose her job and accommodation and could even see her child taken into care if she was remanded in custody, her lawyer told the court.

Nevertheless the court remanded her.

Also remanded in custody to face a crown court trial was Shereka Leigh, 22, from Tottenham, who was allegedly pictured trying on shoes after looting a sports store on Sunday.

She is accused of stealing items including footwear, a laptop computer and hair straighteners from Tottenham Hale retail park.

Birmingham disorder

Cases were heard late on Thursday night at Birmingham Magistrates' Court, including Leonard Stephens, 22, from Bordesley Village who handed himself into police.

He admitted burglary of a sports shop and being involved in city centre disorder, and was remanded in custody for sentencing at Birmingham Crown Court on 8 September.

Wayne Collins, 24, from Luton and Renardo Farrell, 19, from Nechells were charged with violent disorder at the Barton Arms pub on Wednesday. Both will appear at Crown Court on 26 September.

Craig Rollason, 39, from Newtown, admitted assaulting police, damaging a police vehicle and racially abusing an officer. He was remanded in custody until 23 August.

Anthony Robinson, 24, from Handsworth denied charges of violent disorder following trouble in Toll House Way, Smethwick, on Wednesday and attacks on ambulance staff later in Victoria Way. He remains in custody ahead of a crown court appearance on 22 September.

In Southampton Magistrates' Court, Mitchel Stancombe, 20, of Totton, Hampshire, was charged with inciting violent disorder following an investigation into posts made on Facebook.

He was bailed to return to court on 7 October.

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