Sunday 19 November 2017

Hoodie generation: Faces of last night’s looting suspects

Police said the pictures were
Police said the pictures were "just a few" of the images captured on CCTV and by other means
Police detain a man near the site of looting in an electronics store near New St Station, Birmingham. Photo: PA
A policeman and his dog walk towards a burning car in central Birmingham yesterday
Riot police at an undisclosed location in London last night as they prepare to go into action
British Prime Minister David Cameron with Met police officer Superintendent Jo Oakley in Croydon, one of the areas visited by Mr Cameron yesterday

Pat Hurst and reporters

Police today released the first batch of pictures of suspects wanted for the rioting and looting last night in Manchester and Salford – including one grinning suspect who posted his own picture on Twitter.

The man, pictured top left, joins dozens of mugshots and CCTV images of suspected troublemakers being hunted by police in London and Manchester.

Both Scotland Yard and Greater Manchester Police released fresh batches of images today.

New pictures released by the Metropolitan Police relate to looting and violent disorder in Tottenham, Haringey and Wood Green on Saturday. Nine other men are pictured in the latest gallery of suspects in London.

Meanwhile in London a primary school worker became one of the first people to be brought before the courts accused of involvement in the recent riots.

Alexis Bailey, 31, from Battersea, south London, who was arrested in Richer Sounds in Southend Road, Croydon, pleaded guilty to burglary with intent to steal.

Bailey, who, the court heard, works full-time in a primary school in Stockwell and lives with his parents, was given bail but must adhere to a curfew.

His case, along with the majority of others, was committed to Wood Green Crown Court for sentencing.

Magistrates in London are ploughing through hearings of people accused of looting and being involved in recent riots.

A steady stream of defendants, ranging from teenagers to people in their 40s, were appearing today.

Meanwhile, in Bristol a man and an 17-year-old youth appeared in court today in connection with riots there.

Michael Coffey, 47, and the teenager, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, are accused of offences linked to violent disorder in the Stokes Croft and St Pauls areas of the city on Monday night and the early hours of Tuesday morning.

Coffey, of Whitefield Road, Bristol, is accused of violent disorder in connection with an incident in which "missiles" were thrown at police officers by members of a 50-strong crowd which was behind "blockades" in the Stokes Croft area on Tuesday.

He is accused of throwing two glass bottles at officers.

Greater Manchester Police chief constable Peter Fahy said 100 premises were broken into or damaged and officers made 113 arrests during last night’s rampage.

He said the pictures were "just a few" of the images captured on CCTV and by other means.

"We have a huge amount of other material, we already are at this very moment preparing to go out and arrest individuals," Mr Fahy said.

Mr Fahy described the disorder as "organised and orchestrated" and suggested the trouble in Salford was more violent than the general looting in Manchester city centre with the copy-cat rioting being used as an opportunity for 'payback' from local criminals towards police.

"We have been giving a hard time to a lot of the organised criminal outfits and various other people we know involved in offending and no doubt some of those saw this as an opportunity to get back at us, and we will be getting back at them," he said.

"Sadly they were the sort of characters we deal with day in day out, they are the sort of people who live on the edge of criminality and who would see organised shop lifting, burglary, as part of their day to day occupation.

"The 1980s was about attacking police officers, this isn't, this is about attacking shops and trying to get televisions and electrical goods and clothing.

"There were families turning up in cars and loading stuff into their boots."

He added: "What's important to us and what is important to all police forces is the situation in London is under control. That is really important to stop the copy-cat riots and disturbances and calm things down.

"We are really pleased that London was calm last night because I think clearly if it looked like London was out of control then we would have ended up with far more disorder here because there would have been a situation that others would have tried to exploit."

Police reinforcements from other forces in the North West and wider area will be drafted in to help police Manchester tonight, Mr Fahy said.

Around 1,000 police were on duty last night but more will be on the ground from this afternoon he added.

"There is no reason this should happen again tonight, we have got a lot of officers out there."

Mr Fahy suggested the start of the football season for Manchester United and Manchester City would not be disrupted this weekend.

He added: "We police huge events in Manchester all the time, we have got the carnival this weekend, we have clearly got the big football matches, we had a football match last night, quite a high profile one, so at the moment as far as we are concerned it is business as usual and we would want to try to do everything we could to ensure we are not going to let a criminal minority disrupt the enjoyment of huge numbers of people who want to come to Manchester and Salford and other places to enjoy themselves."

At Highbury Corner Magistrates' Court in London, where cases were heard through the night in a bid to deal with the huge influx, a variety of defendants appeared, including one primary school worker.

Chair of magistrates Melvyn Marks told the court many of the cases had aggravating features, occurring ''in the middle of a very violent riot'', which meant magistrates had insufficient sentencing powers.

''Because of the nature of this offence and because of the circumstances, we have taken the view that there are too many aggravating features on this case and our powers of punishment are not enough.''

Court staff have been working throughout the night, with cases being heard before a district judge overnight and magistrates taking over this morning.

One member of court staff, who did not want to be named, said: "It's just been constant, staff are working constantly to deal with the cases."

Other cases included looting at a Costco warehouse, people caught stealing clothes from shops which had been ransacked, and two men caught pushing a shopping trolley full of power tools which they claim they "found".

Many cases echoed the crimes caught on camera as people looted across the capital.

Student David Attoh, 18, from Retreat Place, Hackney, was caught on August 8 in Hackney, with two Burberry t-shirts.

Attoh, who the court heard has completed an ICT B-Tech at Hackney Community College and was due to have an interview for an apprenticeship on Tuesday, admitted theft by finding.

The student, who was fined £150, had been receiving Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA) while completing his B-Tech, but over the summer was supported by his mother, the court heard.

Mr Marks told him: "Don't get in trouble again.

"You have a bright future ahead of you, if you get into trouble again you are going to jeopardise that future."

Defendants this morning were from a range of areas across the capital, as were their crimes.

Most offences related to looting, many including theft and burglary.

Most defendants this morning pleaded guilty to their offences - but, despite their crimes being serious enough to be committed to Crown Court for sentencing, many were given bail, often with an electronic tag.

One man who denied his charge was 19-year-old Adam Ozdas, from Hindrey Road, Hackney, who is accused of receiving stolen goods.

He was stopped by police in Clarence Road, Hackney, and found to be in possession of a large bottle of Southern Comfort, a large number of National Lottery scratchcards, tobacco, £90 in cash, and confectionery, the court heard.

Prosecutor Abiodun Kadri said: "He stated that he found the items on the road and that he was going to hand them into a police station."

Ozdas, who, the court heard, is due to start a college course in September, pleaded not guilty and was granted conditional bail to appear again next month.

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