UK

Courts Work Through The Night To Process Riot Charges

08/11/2011 10:35 am 10:35:04 | Updated 11 October 2011

New figures reveal the extent of the police crackdown on the rioters, with more arrests expected in the coming days.

According to West Midlands Police, 345 people have been arrested this week in connection with the unrest, while the Metropolitan Police have arrested 950 people so far, with 457 of those already charged.

The Met has also revealed that around half of those who had already appeared in court were less than 18-years-old. Hundreds more have been arrested and charged in Manchester and other cities.

In London, the disturbances, which began on Saturday, led to 186 officers being injured.

Earlier today, West Midlands Police arrested three men in connection with the killing of Haroon Jahan, 21, Shahzad Ali, 30, and his brother, Abdul Musavir, 31, who were knocked down by a car in the Birmingham riots.

Courts have remained in session as hundreds of people charged in connection to rioting offences were hauled in front of magistrates.

Meanwhile the Malaysian student who became an internet phenomenon after being mugged by youths has told a press conference that he "feels sorry" for his attackers.

Mohd Asyraf Raziq Rosli was filmed during the disturbances in London being first hit by rioters, and then being mugged after the same attackers appeared to help him to his feet.

The student said that he planned to finish his studies in the UK, and said that he still thought Britain was "great" despite his ordeal. When asked by reporters how he was managing to stay so positive, he replied "I seriously have no idea."

Describing the experience - now so horribly familiar to the hundreds of thousands who have watched it on YouTube - he said he was making his way to a friend's house in Hackney in order to escape the riots when he was assaulted by one group of youths.

A 20-year-old man has now been arrested in connection the attack, the Metropolitan Police have said.

Greater Manchester Police said that 97 people had been charged with offences there, including a 45-year-old man who tried to gouge out a policeman's eyes.

Meanwhile the London Evening Standard reported that police were angry at the 'soft sentences' being handed out to convicted rioters.

The courts been pushed to quickly process those arrested as the government looks to send out a message of deterrence.
Photos posted to Twitter appeared to show custody vans waiting in line to process those who have been charged.

West Midlands Police said that more than 20 people had already been jailed on various offences, including a man who was sentenced to six months in prison after looting £3,500 worth of cigarettes.

In Manchester police said that at least five people had already been jailed for assault, theft and public order offences.

Bernard Moore, 36, was sentenced to five months for assaulting a police officer. Eoin Flanagan was jailed for eight months for stealing clothes, and Jason Ullet, 38, was sentenced for ten weeks on a public order offence. Two others received similar sentences, also on public order offences.

Those who have appeared in front of magistrates include a primary school mentor, a charity worker and a lifeguard, according to the Daily Mail.

In Nottinghamshire an 11-year-old girl was charged with criminal damage and attempted criminal damage and was remanded in custody.

In London a graduate who said she wanted to become a social worker pleaded guilty to stealing a TV from a branch of Comet in Enfield. Natasha Reid, 24, from Edmonton, appeared at Westminster Magistrates' Court charged with theft and intent to steal after she took a £269 television from the store. Her case was adjourned until September 1. She was one of more than 100 people who appeared at the court.

In Manchester a woman who has 96 previous convictions pleaded guilty to stealing alcohol, cigarettes and mobile phone accessories.

The court heard how Linda Boyd, who is 31, was drunk and found a bin liner containing looted items which she took away to share with friends. She will be sentenced on August 16. The Guardian reported that the woman told the district judge to "shut up" as she walked away.

Also appearing in front of courts was an 11-year-old boy from Romford in Essex, who admitted to looting the Debenhams store in his home town on Monday night. Because of his age, the boy cannot be named. In court, he spoke only to confirm his name, age and date of birth.

The Highbury Court Magistrates in north London, where the youth appeared, has witnessed such an influx of cases that it was forced to sit through all of Tuesday and Wednesday night to clear the backlog.

Another man who appeared before Highbury Court was 31-year-old Alexis Bailey, who pleaded guilty to burglary with intent to steal from Richer Sounds in Croydon. He was released on bail and will be sentenced at Wood Green Crown Court at a future date.

Bailey received further notoriety online after he was filmed walking into a lamppost while attempting to shield his face with a newspaper outside of court.

In Croydon, the Magistrates court has processed twice as many cases as it does in a typical sitting. Those charged include Joseph Levy, a 41-year-old drug addict who stole a bottle of wine. Also appearing was Ohene Bamfo, a 20-year-old charged with robbery theft and violent disorder, who was remanded in custody. A 14-year-old girl charged with stealing a camera also appeared.

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