21/02/2012 17:54 GMT | Updated 21/02/2012 17:55 GMT

Cross-Eyed Arsonist Jailed For London Riots Blaze

A cross-eyed arsonist who set fire to a shop and post office during the London riots last August has been jailed for eight years, after police spotted his unusual eyes on CCTV.

Andrew Burls, 23, started blazes at Regen's Lingerie boutique in Rye Lane, Peckham, south London, and a post office in the same street, during riots that spread across the capital.

Although Burls, of Purdon House, Peckham, covered his face to hide his identity, officers trawling through CCTV footage spotted his distinctive eyes.

The 23-year-old originally denied the offence, but was jailed for a total of eight years at Inner London Crown Court after pleading guilty on 30 January to two counts of arson being reckless as to whether life was endangered, and one of burglary with intent to steal at Iceland in Rye Lane, a court official confirmed.

Southwark Council welcomed the sentence and confirmed that Burls had voluntarily given up the tenancy of his council flat in Peckham.

Peter John, leader of Southwark Council, said: "Andrew Burls has admitted to setting fire to businesses in Peckham during August's disorder.

"His actions cost more than £1m in damages to local shops, caused immense distress to their business owners, left six people homeless and terrified a close-knit and peaceful community.

"I'm sure that many people who live and work in Peckham will be satisfied that this sentence is appropriate and reflects the seriousness of his crime and the impact it has had on the community."