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English society is sick, says mother forced to leap from flat in riots

A woman who was forced to leap out of her burning home after it was set alight during the London riots has described English society as "sick".

Polish national Monika Konczyk (32) said she came to the UK five months ago seeking a better life -- but nearly lost it during the disorder that devastated London.

In a newspaper interview, Ms Konczyk said: "I came to England because I thought it was a great country full of kind and gentle people.

"I thought London was a civilised society full of gentlemen and ladies -- but it is not like that. England has become a sick society."



Greedy

A picture of Ms Konczyk jumping 16ft from her first floor window into the arms of police in Croydon, south London, was one of the defining images of the unrest.

It was taken by photographers as gangs of masked youths and rioters ran amok in the suburb on Monday night and Tuesday morning.

The Poundland shop assistant added: "I found myself jumping for my life after being attacked by thugs and thieves. They set fire to my building without any thought for anyone's safety.

"They were happy for me to die. They were like animals -- greedy, selfish animals who thought only of themselves."

The mother-of-one said she became trapped in her rented flat above a shop just yards away from the historic Reeves furniture store which was razed to the ground during the unrest.

"I am shocked to find people behaving like this in England. It is not what I expected of the English," she said.

"I have never seen anything like this in Poland. Polish people are hard-working and respectable. They believe in working for a living, not stealing from others.

"If you want nice clothes or a new TV, you don't smash shop windows and loot them -- you work and pay for them."

Meanwhile, two men have been arrested on suspicion of murder in connection with the death of a man found shot in his car following rioting.

Trevor Ellis (26) suffered a gunshot wound to the head after trouble flared in Croydon, on Monday night.

He was taken to hospital where he was pronounced dead the next day.

Scotland Yard said a 26-year-old man was arrested yesterday afternoon at an address in Mitcham, south London.

He is in custody at a south London police station, a spokesman for the force added.

A 24-year-old man was arrested by Met Police officers in Brighton on Thursday and has been bailed to return on September 12 pending further inquiries, the Met said.

Two men arrested at the scene on suspicion of handling stolen goods had previously been released on bail.

Mr Ellis, of Brixton Hill, south London, was found at about 9.20pm on Monday in a vehicle in Croydon, police said.

The father-of-four was taken to hospital with a gunshot wound to his head, and was pronounced dead on Tuesday. A post-mortem examination showed he died from the head injury.



Pursuit

A Scotland Yard spokesman previously said initial inquiries suggested he had travelled to the Croydon area earlier on Monday with a group of friends.

"It is believed the group became involved in an altercation with a group of approximately nine individuals," he said.

"This altercation culminated in a vehicle pursuit involving three vehicles which commenced in Scarbrook Road, Croydon, passing along the A232 flyover into Duppas Hill Road where the victim was shot."

hnews@herald.ie


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