Many were unrecognisable as they ran riot, their faces hidden behind masks and hoods. But some of those responsible endured uncomfortable scrutiny yesterday as scores of suspects were swept through London's stretched court system.
Scotland Yard said last night that it had arrested 805 people and charged more than 250 over the disturbances in the capital. In an unprecedented move, Highbury magistrates' court in north London stayed open throughout Tuesday night as officials dealt with the influx.
Those who appeared yesterday included a 11-year-old accompanied by his mother; students with bright futures and adults with children and jobs. One of the first to appear was a classroom assistant, Alexis Bailey, 31, pictured, from Battersea, south London, who admitted burglary with intent to steal after his arrest in Richer Sounds during the riots in Croydon.
Mr Bailey, who, the court heard, lives with his parents, was given bail but must adhere to a curfew while wearing an electronic tag. His case, along with many others, was committed to Wood Green Crown Court for sentencing. Magistrates are limited to imposing sentences of six months.
The 11-year-old boy, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was caught attempting to steal a rubbish bin from Debenhams in Romford, worth £50. The boy was dwarfed by the security guard who flanked him in the dock. He spoke only to confirm his name and to say he understood the charge. His mother, who was in court for the hearing, confirmed that he would only leave her house in future if accompanied by her, his father or grandparents.
Christopher Heart, a scaffolder, appeared accused of theft. Police had arrested the 23-year-old outside JD Sports wearing a brand new pair of trainers and a body warmer with the label still attached. Mr Heart, from Chingford, in Essex, who wept throughout the hearing, was given conditional bail to stay at his girlfriend's house, as well as a curfew and electronic tag.Reuse content