Boy, 11, youngest at riot court

An 11-year-old boy was among scores of rioters and looters to appear before magistrates today.

The boy, from Romford, Essex, who cannot be named for legal reasons, appeared at Highbury Corner Youth Court where he admitted being part of a gang of youths who looted the town's Debenhams store on Monday night.



His appearance came as court staff ploughed through the massive influx of cases from recent riots in London.



Highbury Corner Magistrates' Court, in north London, sat throughout last night to deal with cases, and is likely to again tonight.



Defendants ranged in age, from different parts of London, but the boy stood out as the youngest defendant to appear in Highbury today.



Wearing a blue Adidas tracksuit, the youngster spoke only to confirm his name, age and date of birth.



He pleaded guilty to burglary, after stealing a waste bin worth £50 from Debenhams. A charge of violent disorder was dropped.







During the brief hearing the court heard the boy has already been given a referral order after being convicted of a separate offence just last week. No details of the conviction were given.

Prosecutor Steven Davis told the court: "This was 10.30pm on Monday evening with a background of serious violence in Romford.



"Police saw a group of 20-30 youths who were approaching large stores, breaking windows and looting.



"They saw Debenhams had had its windows broken and they saw (the boy) approach the window that had been smashed, lean in, take a waste bin and run off with it."



He said when police stopped the boy, he said: "I was just taking it to pass on to somebody else."



Mr Davis said the bin was worth £50. The damage to the windows was £6,000 but it is not alleged the boy broke them.



Defending the 11-year-old, Vicky Thompson said he was given a referral order after being convicted last Wednesday, but it had not even begun yet.



She asked for a pre-sentence report to be carried out before the boy is sentenced.









The boy's case was adjourned until August 31 at Havering Youth Court.

Miss Thompson asked that his mother requested that "in the light of everything that is going on" a condition of his bail should be that he is not allowed to leave his home unaccompanied.



"She wants to keep him safe and not allow him to get caught up in this," she said.



District Judge James Henderson granted bail, with what he said are "very restricted conditions".



They are that the boy has to live and sleep at his home address and is on a curfew between 6pm and 6am, but the judge said the law does not allow him to impose an electronic tag.



He also told the boy: "You are not to leave your home address in any event unless you are accompanied by your nan, grandad, or your dad or your mum.



"Do you understand?"



The boy replied: "Yeah".



The boy's mother shouted and swore at some members of the gathered media as she left the court, and could later be seen shouting at the boy, who left separately, and taking him back into the court.













The boy was just one of a steady stream of defendants, from teenagers to people in their 40s, appearing in court today.

Many were committed to crown court for sentence by magistrates because of the seriousness of the situation, yet most were granted bail.



They included primary school worker Alexis Bailey, 31, from Wye Street in Battersea, south London, who was arrested in Richer Sounds in Southend Road, Croydon, and today 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 many others, was committed to Wood Green Crown Court for sentencing.



Chairman of the 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."



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



Crimes heard today 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".



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."



Nineteen-year-old Adam Ozdas, from Hindrey Road, Hackney, who is due to start a college course next month, denied a charge 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 pleaded not guilty and was granted conditional bail to appear again next month.



Many defendants appeared blase over their court appearances, often giving little reaction.



But Christopher Heart, 23, from Chingford, who admitted stealing a pair of Lacoste trainers and a body warmer from JD Sports in Hackney on Monday night, was visibly upset, drying his eyes on his T-shirt, as the court heard his girlfriend has been diagnosed with cancer.



Heart, a scaffolder and father of two, was given conditional bail to stay at his girlfriend's house, as well as a curfew.



As he left the court he apologised to magistrates for the "inconvenience" caused by recent riots.



Several courts are expected to sit all night again tonight to cope with the volume of cases.



The Courts Service said there was "provision" to deal with the cases, but would not confirm how many courts would be open tonight.

PA

Sport
sportGareth Bale, Carl Froch and Kelly Gallagher also in the mix for award
News
Japan's Suntory Beverage & Food has bought GlaxoSmithKline's Lucozade and Ribena
news
News
A tongue-eating louse (not the one Mr Poli found)
newsParasitic louse appeared inside unfilleted sea bass
Life and Style
The reindeer pen at the attraction
lifeLaurence Llewelyn-Bowen's 'Magical Journey' and other winter blunderlands
News
ebooksNow available in paperback
News
Tana Ramsay gave evidence in a legal action in which her husband, Gordon, is accusing her father, Christopher Hutcheson, of using a ghost writer machine to “forge” his signature
peopleTana Ramsay said alleged discovery was 'extremely distressing'
Arts and Entertainment
Robin Windsor and Aljaz Skorjanec rehearse their same-sex dance together on Strictly Come Dancing
TV
Money
Anyone over the age of 40 seeking a loan with a standard term of 25 years will be borrowing beyond a normal retirement age of 65, and is liable to find their options restricted
propertyAnd it's even worse if you're 40
Arts and Entertainment
Perhaps longest awaited is the adaptation of Jack Kerouac’s On the Road with Brazil’s Walter Salles directing and Sam Riley, Kristen Stewart and Viggo Mortensen as the Beat-era outsiders
books
Arts and Entertainment
theatreSinger to join cast of his Broadway show after The Last Ship flounders at the box office
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

How bad do you have to be to lose a Home Office contract?

How bad do you have to be to lose a Home Office contract?

Serco given Yarl’s Wood immigration contract despite ‘vast failings’
Green Party on the march in Bristol: From a lost deposit to victory

From a lost deposit to victory

Green Party on the march in Bristol
Putting the grot right into Santa's grotto

Winter blunderlands

Putting the grot into grotto
'It just came to us, why not do it naked?' London's first nude free runner captured in breathtaking images across capital

'It just came to us, why not do it naked?'

London's first nude free runner captured in breathtaking images across capital
In a world of Saudi bullying, right-wing Israeli ministers and the twilight of Obama, Iran is looking like a possible policeman of the Gulf

Iran is shifting from pariah to possible future policeman of the Gulf

Robert Fisk on our crisis with Iran
The young are the new poor: A third of young people pushed into poverty

The young are the new poor

Sharp increase in the number of under-25s living in poverty
Greens on the march: ‘We could be on the edge of something very big’

Greens on the march

‘We could be on the edge of something very big’
Revealed: the case against Bill Cosby - through the stories of his accusers

Revealed: the case against Bill Cosby

Through the stories of his accusers
Why are words like 'mongol' and 'mongoloid' still bandied about as insults?

The Meaning of Mongol

Why are the words 'mongol' and 'mongoloid' still bandied about as insults?
Mau Mau uprising: Kenyans still waiting for justice join class action over Britain's role in the emergency

Kenyans still waiting for justice over Mau Mau uprising

Thousands join class action over Britain's role in the emergency
Isis in Iraq: The trauma of the last six months has overwhelmed the remaining Christians in the country

The last Christians in Iraq

After 2,000 years, a community will try anything – including pretending to convert to Islam – to avoid losing everything, says Patrick Cockburn
Black Friday: Helpful discounts for Christmas shoppers, or cynical marketing by desperate retailers?

Helpful discounts for Christmas shoppers, or cynical marketing by desperate retailers?

Britain braced for Black Friday
Bill Cosby's persona goes from America's dad to date-rape drugs

From America's dad to date-rape drugs

Stories of Bill Cosby's alleged sexual assaults may have circulated widely in Hollywood, but they came as a shock to fans, says Rupert Cornwell
Clare Balding: 'Women's sport is kicking off at last'

Clare Balding: 'Women's sport is kicking off at last'

As fans flock to see England women's Wembley debut against Germany, the TV presenter on an exciting 'sea change'