London

London riots: Man 'boasted of furniture store fire'

The House of Reeves furniture store in Croydon on fire
Image caption The fire was so fierce neighbouring buildings were set alight

A man accused of starting a "catastrophic" fire at a furniture shop during the summer riots boasted about causing the blaze, a jury heard.

Gordon Thompson, 33, allegedly told Jonathan Davis "it was me", as he walked away from the burning House of Reeves in Croydon on 8 August.

It is alleged he stole a laptop from Reeves, before asking around for a lighter and setting fire to a sofa.

Thompson denies setting fire to the south London store.

Prosecutor Oliver Glasgow told the court: "As the defendant was jogging towards him, to the utter amazement of Jonathan Davis the defendant boasted, 'it's me, I did that, I burned Reeves Corner'."

The blaze was so fierce that buildings on the opposite side of the road caught fire and tram lines in the road burned. House of Reeves has since been demolished.

Thompson denies violent disorder, burglary of Reeves, arson with intent to endanger life and arson being reckless as to whether life was endangered.

He has admitted burglary of two shops in Croydon - Iceland and House of Fraser - on the same evening.

The trial continues.

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites