A group of 16 rioters who terrorised Notting Hill last year with a series of attacks on people and businesses, including a robbery at the two Michelin starred Ledbury restaurant, were sentenced to a total of more than 73 years behind bars today.
Sentencing each individually, the judge told them to compare themselves to the athletes competing in the Olympics a year after their involvement in the “mob criminality”. The group, most of whom were members of two different gangs who worked together during the riots, included the man apprehended by television presenter Dan Snow, who sat on him and made a citizen’s arrest.
Between them, they perpetrated attacks on the Notting Hill restaurant, as well as a series of shops and police vehicles and officers. They also attacked an off-licence, where the shopkeeper was brutally beaten about the head with a glass bottle.
Sentencing the rioters today at Inner London Crown Court, Judge Usha Karu told them: “It was a year today that you were involved in the mayhem and mob criminality which caused disturbances to law abiding public.
“Today, in stark contrast to those scenes of arson, looting and damage in august last year, London is hosting the Olympics and demonstrating excellence can be achieved in sports and an inspiration to all. However, those involved in the events of August 2011 were intent on doing the opposite.”
The rioters appeared before the judge in two groups of eight. After some were sent down to begin their sentences there were scenes of apparent disdain towards the court. Gyasi Skinner, 20, smiled as he was given a total of nine years, two months in a young offender’s institute.
Karl Jensen, who was sat upon by Mr Snow, thanked the judge and laughed as he was led away after being given 3 years in jail. He whistled and laughed at the realisation that, because he has already served a year on remand, he will be eligible for release in six months – half way through his sentence.
After the hearing, a police officer injured by the group as he tried to drive back to the station to gather supplies for his colleagues told the Independent that he felt the sentences were fair. PC Derren Hopkinson, who was an experienced public order officer at the time of the riots, said: “I had to take a few days off work after the attack to get my head right. It is still at the back of my mind at times but today is going to give me a bit of closure.”