Harry Potter star 'had petrol bomb in riots'

Actor Jamie Waylett caught on camera carrying bomb, but says he was not going to use it

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The Independent Online

An actor from the Harry Potter films carried a petrol bomb and drank from a bottle of champagne as looting and rioting went on around him in London, a court heard yesterday.

Jamie Waylett, 22, of Kilburn, north London, who played Draco Malfoy's henchman Vincent Crabbe in the films, is accused of violent disorder and of having the petrol bomb with intent to damage property during the riots in the capital, he denies both charges .

His lawyer said that he was only present at the disturbances in Camden on the third night of rioting in the capital because he was "fascinated".

The jury at Wood Green Crown Court heard that his "emotion of fascination turned to one of intimidation" when he heard masked people addressing him by his name and others calling him "Harry", in an apparent reference to his roles in six of the wizard films.

Emily Dummett said that her client accepted the petrol bomb from a rioter because he feared retribution from people who "knew where he lived," and hoped that if he took it they would give him "an easy ride". She insisted that CCTV footage shown to the court, in which Mr Waylett was seen to drink from a bottle of champagne or sparkling wine and later to be carrying another bottle with what the court heard was a rag sticking out of the top, did not prove that he had used a weapon. She claimed that her client threw the bottle which police said was a petrol bomb in a bin as soon as possible.

But the lawyer for the prosecution, Rebekah Hummerstone, said that simply having a petrol bomb in the middle of some of the worst civil disturbances in recent times was enough to make people around fear for their safety and was sufficient proof of his intention to cause damage that evening.

In a separate case, a court heard yesterday that the daughter of a millionaire accused of taking part in the disturbances was not acting under duress.

Laura Johnson, 20, drove looters around and was seen putting a box into the front seat of a car she was driving, Inner London Crown Court was told.

Johnson, of Orpington, south-east London, denies three counts of burglary and three alternative counts of handling stolen goods relating to the riots last August.

Sandy Canavan, prosecuting, said: "The prosecution say that any talk of duress is no more than a red herring in this case. This is a young lady who exercised extraordinarily bad judgement that night. She knew what she was doing, she did it for whatever reason seemed good to her at the time, but not under duress."

Both trials continue tomorrow.