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London Riots: House Of Reeves Arsonist Gordon Thompson Due To Be Sentenced

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Gordon Thompson is due to be sentenced for the House of Reeves blaze
Gordon Thompson is due to be sentenced for the House of Reeves blaze

A looter who started a massive fire that destroyed a 140-year-old furniture shop during last summer's riots is due to be sentenced on Wednesday.

The blaze at House of Reeves in Croydon, south London, last August was so fierce it spread to buildings on the other side of the road and tram lines in the street caught fire.

Gordon Thompson, 34, admitted arson, being reckless as to whether life was endangered, on February 24 - a few days into his trial.

He is due to be sentenced at the Old Bailey today for starting the fire and for burglary.

Prosecutor Oliver Glasgow told jurors: "Such was the ferocity of the blaze that embers and heat from the flames set fire to property on the other side of the road and numerous residents were forced to flee their homes for their lives.

"Indeed one young woman became trapped inside her flat and was forced to jump from a first-floor window into the arms of rescuers waiting below."

A photographer captured a dramatic image of Monika Konczyk as she hurled herself from the building to escape the fire.

Thompson, of Waddon Road, Croydon, "ran riot through the streets" wearing a bright red hooded top that day, and was captured on CCTV and filmed on mobile phones attacking the shop.

After Thompson pleaded guilty to arson, Maurice Reeves, from the family that owned the shop, said the blaze was so traumatic that parts of him had "died".

He went on: "The building's been there all my life. I worked in there every day and when I go into work now the building's not there.

"It's with tears in my eyes when I think about it."


The House of Reeves furniture shop was razed to the ground.

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