Birmingham & Black Country

Birmingham riots: Adidas looter 'handed himself in'

A man who looted an Adidas store in Birmingham handed himself in due to his guilty conscience, a court heard.

Leonard Stephens, aged 22, of St Andrew's Road, went to a police station not long after he took the items.

He pleaded guilty to burglary at an earlier hearing and will be sentenced at crown court later.

A man who looted an Armani store was jailed for 20 months. Esa Harding, 25, handed himself in after being caught on CCTV and identified by a blood sample.

Birmingham Crown Court heard Harding, of George Arthur Road, in Saltley, admitted burglary after he went into the Armani store in the Mailbox and stole a t-shirt.

Judge Melbourne Inman QC said: "A very serious set of offences were committed, you realised that they had been committed and then decided to take advantage of that."

Birmingham was first affected by disorder on 8 August.

The trouble continued into the next day and included an incident when three young men were killed when they were struck by a car as they tried to protect property in Winson Green.

'Society broke down'

Earlier on Friday, a 44-year-old man was sentenced to 16 months in prison for burglary.

Ivor McCooty, of Lee Bank, Birmingham, admitted burgling a petrol station on Bristol Street.

Sentencing him, Judge William Davis QC, the Recorder of Birmingham, said for a few days in certain areas of England "our civilised society broke down".

Judge Davis said many parts of Birmingham were attacked, including the crown court and a police station.

Cars were overturned and set on fire and petrol bombs were thrown, he said.

"No ordinary person could walk the streets of the centre of Birmingham in safety," he said.

"Thus far, 530 people have been arrested".

He said it could not wholly be blamed on "disaffected youth" and more than half of those arrested were aged 21 or above, and a "significant percentage" were in their 30s and 40s.

Sentencing would not be disproportionate and would be in line with official guidelines, he said.

Handling stolen goods would be as serious as an offence as the original theft or burglary.

'Opportunistic theft'

In mitigation for McCooty, Thomas Kenning said he had gone into the store and picked up beer.

"He entered opportunistically through an already-burgled premises and the boarding was insecure, and he entered," he said.

In mitigation for Stephens, of Milner Court, Birmingham, the court heard he turned himself in on the morning of 11 August.

The court heard he had been on a bus on his way home when he saw the disturbances.

He decided to take some goods from the Adidas store but met police on his way back who told him to hand his goods back.

As they were stretched they let him go, the court heard, but later Stephens felt "the full impact and enormous guilt" of his actions and handed himself in.

He took jogging bottoms, T-shirts and shorts, the court was told.

Bags of perfume

Four more men were also jailed on Friday for their parts in the looting.

Aston Walker, aged 40, of Norton Street in Winson Green was jailed for 16 months after he admitted a charge of burglary in relation to clothes he took from an H&M store.

Norman Khan, aged 22, of Chetwynd Road, Woodend, admitted burglary after stealing cigarettes from Court News and was jailed for 16 months.

Justinder Douglas, aged 24, of no fixed abode, was sentenced to 20 months after he admitted handling stolen goods - police recovered a total of four bags containing perfume at a value of £4,760.

Ayub Ahmed, aged 23, of Blenheim Avenue, Coventry, was sentenced to 20 months imprisonment after admitting handling stolen goods.

He was found by police carrying Orange mobile phones and Armani goods.

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