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Deportation threat for man who stole ice cream


A looter who was jailed for 16 months after taking a single lick of an unwanted ice-cream cone stolen from a ransacked shop during last summer's riots is now facing deportation and a 10-year ban from Britain.

Anderson Fernandes, whose case highlighted concerns over harsh sentencing for those convicted of involvement in the riots, has been told he will be sent back to Portugal where he has no family and spent only a few years as a child.

Fernandes walked into a ransacked confectioner's in central Manchester in August last year and helped himself to a cone and two scoops of ice cream. He took a lick, did not like the coffee flavour and handed it to a woman outside the wrecked shop, he said.

He admitted burglary in the days following the riot after police told him they had found his DNA on a cigarette inside the branch of Patisserie Valerie. The prosecution said that at one point he had considered distributing cones to people milling outside the shop during the disturbances.

The 22-year-old, who had never before been in prison, was jailed for 16 months after District Judge Jonathan Taaffe said he had a "public duty to deal swiftly and harshly with matters of this nature".

Fernandes, of Newton Heath, Manchester, said the deportation order meant he was being punished twice. "I had never been to prison before. I thought I would get community service or a tag," he said. "It's not like I smashed a shop or broke anything."

He stole the ice cream after leaving court where he faced charges for an unrelated matter. "I walked in because the lights were on and door was open. I walked in to go and buy something. But once I was inside, I realised there was no one in the shop so I helped myself to the ice cream machine, got an ice-cream and took it out."

A spokesman for the UK Border Agency said: "All foreign nationals receiving a custodial sentence of at least 12 months should be considered for deportation. Each case is looked at on its individual merits."