An Afghan man was jailed at Wood Green Crown Court on Friday for his involvement in the August riots.
At about 11pm on 8th August 23-yr-old Hillaman was seen on CCTV in the Ealing Broadway area, wearing a distinctive dark top with two stripes on one arm and a dark baseball cap. He could be seen in a group surrounding an overturned ‘SMART’ car which had been dragged into the middle of Bond Street.
Hillaman and the group tried repeatedly to set fire to the car. The vehicle eventually erupted into flames (see 2326 update) in the centre of the High Street while a group pelted police with bricks, bottles and other missiles.
Hillaman was also captured on CCTV setting fire to a second vehicle, parked at the side of the road. The group lit a bonfire in the middle of the road from which Hillaman removed flaming material from the bonfire and threw it through a smashed window, causing the vehicle to be completely destroyed.
The group then started smashing surrounding business premises and looting shops, while continuing to throw missiles at police from behind barricades they had made.
At one point Hillaman grabbed a fire extinguisher and threw it at the window of a barber shop, ‘Big Jim’s Trims’. He then repeatedly kicked the window, causing damage to the value of £3,000.
At the time of these offences, Hillaman was on bail to Woolwich Crown Court after pleading guilty to a substantial fraud.
Sergeant Robin Dodd from Ealing Police, in charge of the investigation, said:
“In interview Hillaman could offer no explanation as to why he had committed these offences. I, along with the rest of the community in Ealing, cannot comprehend what has led to this behaviour. Operation Withern is, at this very moment, continuing to arrest the others involved in this incident, and we will also be bringing them to justice.”
According to a recent survey commissioned by Santander Insurance, 1 in 5 people would support banning Trick or Treating following the riots which swept across London earlier this year.
Around 22% of people surveyed believe that the yearly custom should have an outright ban, while 50% said that parental accompaniment should be compulsory in order to control the behaviour of children.
Furthermore, 43% of people would support a ban on people wearing masks which obscure the face over Halloween, and over a third of people asked would support a ban on people wearing hooded tops.
Andy Smith, head of media relations at Santander, said: “The summer’s riots resulted in a huge amount of innocent people becoming victims of crime. Our research would suggest that there is genuine concern about any more criminal damage or anti-social behaviour taking place in the period that surrounds Halloween and bonfire night – a period which many people already find intimidating”.
Are these fears founded or is it a lot of fuss about nothing? We want to know what you think:
This is a guest post by Hugh Frost-Wellings
As an English cricket supporter I am an enthusiastic fan of Sir Ian ‘Beefy’ Botham. He has scored over 5000 runs in his test career and has taken over 380 wickets. Any cricket lover will be aware of the 1981 Ashes series which became known as ‘Botham’s Ashes’ because of an incredible performance from him which led to an English victory in the series.
He has also been given honorary life membership to the MCC; his picture hanging in the much coveted Long Room Bar at Lord’s Cricket Ground, and he has played professionally for Scunthorpe United and Yeovil Town FC. A few weeks ago Sir Ian wrote an article in The Telegraph saying, amongst other things, that cricket is good for schoolchildren; I couldn’t agree more. There are so many things to be learnt from cricket, which in my opinion is the greatest sport in the world.
For those who are not cricket fans, let me give you a fleeting description. In a cricket team there are eleven people all offering something different and with the correct balance of personalities and talents, an unstoppable team is created.
When batting there is an order in which batsmen play, and the skills and talents of each batsman determines their position on that order. Similarly, when fielding, different bowling talents offer different attacking options; different areas of the field require different aptitudes to ensure wickets are taken.
Our society here in Britain really is an exceptional one. We are such a mix of people, cultures, knowledge and skills each bringing something different to the table… or to the field. Everything which makes up our varied communities is wonderful and creates something extra special.
As I have explained; cricket is an amalgamation of talents working together; providing individual talents, skills and abilities to support the overall objective of the collective. What an excellent model for us to adopt for society. What’s that old expression? ‘The whole is greater than the sum of the parts’ This is certainly true of our society; I believe our ‘whole’ country really is great.
There are other intrinsic principles to cricket which also should be intrinsic to our society. In cricket, the bowler will not begin his bowling attack until he is confident that the batsman is ready for it. If the bowler should start his attack, or his ‘run-up’ as it is known, before the batsman is ready, the batsman will signal to him and he will stop and start again.
How excellent a mind-set that even in professional, competitive sport there is such a dedicated, obvious and adhered-to policy of fair play? And isn’t that something everyone wants in the country?
There is also incredible discipline and perseverance in a cricket match; they do last for five days, after all, and, depending on weather, 26.6 football games could take place during one Test cricket match. There is much criticism of the school system in this country, especially with regards to discipline.
Boris Boot-Camps have been unveiled across London to instil some discipline, sense of responsibility and team work for school children. Perhaps the organisers of these boot camps and all the workers in the camps should listen to Mr.Botham and myself and make cricket compulsory for the benefit of society.
We cannot ignore the headlines in all the papers and on the internet at the moment talking about the obesity that seems to be swamping the whole western world. The NHS is struggling to cope with the number of people with health issues related to weight problems such as diabetes and the country is unsure of how to deal with the problem.
Andrew Lansley, the current Health Secretary, has said that people should eat less. This is true. Eating less is half the battle to a healthy lifestyle and therefore a healthy society. The other half is exercise. And where better to start than a sport where you win, by running more than the other team?
I cannot stress enough how good cricket is for the country and why it should be more widely played and appreciated. A celebration of diversity, pulling together for the greater good, respect for one’s opponents, a sense of discipline and stamina as well as improving fitness. What are you waiting for? Stop reading this, ring a few friends and see how many runs and wickets you can take!
Ex-Olympic ambassador Chelsea Ives faced fresh charges at Highbury Corner Magistrates’ Court today after new allegations emerged.
Ives, 18, was previously charged with violent disorder in Enfield during the London riots in August, as well as two counts of burglary against mobile phone shops. Today she faced a further count of taking part in more violence the following night in Hackney.
Highbury magistrates committed Ives for trial at Wood Green Crown court on two charges of violent disorder. She will appear at Wood Green to enter a plea on September 21st, with the actual trial likely to take place in 2012.
The new allegation relates to looting of the Somerfields supermarket in Lower Clapton Road.
Meanwhile, the former athlete has been remanded back into custody until her next court appearance later this month.
A second youth has been charged with the assault and mugging of an injured Malaysian student in an attack during the riots of last month. The shocking attack was videoed and put on the internet which sparked a fundraising campaign for the student.
Ashraf Rossli (Ashraf Haziq), 20, who studies at Kaplan University in Angel Square, Islington, was robbed on August 8th in Barking by two people who had initially appeared to ‘help’ him.
Reece Donovan, 21, of Romford, has already been charged with robbery.
Now a 17-year-old has been charged in connection to the attack and will appear at at Thames Magistrates’ Court on Monday. The teenager, who cannot be named for legal reasons, is accused of grievous bodily harm, robbery, burglary and violent disorder.
A portable Sony PlayStation and Nokia mobile phone were taken from Rossli who was left in hospital with a broken jaw.
After the attack, the student said he wanted to stay in Britain and claimed to ‘pity’ is attackers.
In an interview, he said: ‘Britain is great. Before I came here I was very eager and I haven’t got any ill-feelings about what happened.
‘My family are worried about me and my mother would like me to go home. But I am determined to stay. I feel very sorry for the people who did this.
‘It was really sad because among them were children.’
He added that he had been helped by two girls and a woman who lived nearby who saw the incident.
The Let’s Do Something Nice for Ashraf Haziq group has raised around £25k in aid of the student who is now fully recovered.
Aaron Mulholland, 30, a lifeguard from Southall who joined looters as they ransacked a phone shop in Camberwell during the riots, was jailed for 13 months on Thursday. As Mulholland was led from the dock, his relatives hurled abuse at the judge, yelling: ‘That’s what you get for having good character,’ and: ‘You get less for rape!’
Reports say Mulholland sobbed in the dock yesterday as a court was told he helped pillage a mobile phone shop in Camberwell. He had drunkenly followed looters into Fone World in Church Street, south London, after leaving a nearby pub in the early hours of August 9, the third day of the rioting across London.
Inner London Crown Court heard he was caught by police crawling out of the store, which suffered £25,000 of losses, beneath forced security shutters. Mulholland, who worked at Peckham Pulse health club and had no previous convictions, was empty handed when he left the shop.
The following morning, once sober, he apologised to police for any trouble he caused, and was said to be remorseful for letting his family down.
The court heard a series of family tragedies had led him to develop a drink problem.
Following the revelation that thousands of extra police constables will remain in London during the August Bank Holiday, police confirmed yesterday exactly how many officers will be on the streets during the Notting Hill Carnival.
“At Notting Hill specifically we will have a total of 5,500 officers on duty on Sunday and 6,500 on duty on Monday. But in addition to that we will have over 4,000 additional officers on duty across London as well as the thousands who are normally on duty over a weekend,” said Commander Steve Rodhouse yesterday.
“Some of those additional officers will come from forces outside London, through mutual aid arrangements, and the Met has cancelled all leave for staff and rearranged duties.”
This year’s carnival will officially end at 7pm on both Sunday and Monday, with local pubs and other businesses having been asked to close between 7pm and 9pm.
A heavier than normal police presence at this year’s carnival seems to have been influenced by the London-wide riots of a few weeks ago. Police are also worried about gang activity erupting around the capital during the carnival period.
“At this stage it would be fair to say we have intelligence to suggest that some gangs want to come to Carnival and create trouble for us. Plus we know that some people believe we will be diverted from policing the rest of London due to the Notting Hill Carnival, leaving the rest of the Capital without a policing presence,” said Commander Rodhouse. “This is not the case.”
Thirty five arrests have already been made as part of a proactive attempt to crack down on potential troublemakers. Metal detectors, automatic numberplate recognition devices, stop-and-search tactics and specialist officers will all be used to reduce the risk of violence.
Council leader Julian Bell, Labour, hopes the controversial punishment will send out a clear message that violence will not be tolerated.
He said: “We’ve got 11,000 people on our housing waiting list. If you’ve taken part in the riots and broken your tenancy agreement, the council will seek to evict you”.
Mr Bell went on to emphasise the importance of making an example of those involved in the rioting: “We need to give a very tough message. They don’t understand the seriousness of what they’ve been engaged in. Everyone thinks it’s a bit of a laugh, but it’s not a laugh, somebody’s been killed as a result of this”.
This move has been backed by Prime Minister David Cameron, but it remains unclear whether it is legal. Council tenancy agreements state that tenants must not commit any crimes in the ‘locality’ of the property. The council says decisions will be made on an individual basis, especially where children are involved, to determine who is eligible for this punishment.
Jean-Michel Jordan, project manager at charity SOVA (Supporting Others through Volunteer Action) based in Acton, works with youth offenders and slammed the plans as a ‘knee-jerk reaction’. He said: “The families will be struggling even more and the ones not struggling before, those young people will be interested in crime now. It will make young people more angry and perhaps even hungry for crime”.
A 16-year-old boy accused of killing a pensioner who tried to put out fires started by rioters in Ealing was refused bail at the Old Bailey yesterday. The teenager, who cannot be named because of his age, allegedly punched Richard Mannington Bowes in the face, causing him to fall backwards and hit his head on the ground.
The 68-year-old was attacked at about 10.30pm on Monday August 8 near his home in Ealing, west London, after being surrounded by a group of youths. Mr Bowes never regained consciousness and died in hospital on August 11.
The youth was arrested at his home and was later charged with murder, violent disorder and four counts of burglary. He appeared in court alongside his mother, who has been charged with perverting the course of justice.
Mr Mannington Bowes has been hailed as a ‘community hero’ for trying to stop youths setting fire to bins during Monday night’s riots. His sister, Anne Wilderspin, 73, of Matlock Bath, said that she was proud of her brother Richard Mannington Bowes’ actions and has called for rioters to find ‘real purpose’ in their lives.
In the wake of last week’s riots, police officers have been warned not to “spend too much time eating” as grateful members of the public offer sweets, cakes and even three-course meals to thank them for restoring order to the streets.
Acting Metropolitan Police commissioner, Tim Godwin, has joked that his staff must not “spend too much time eating”, or else they will end up with a waistline like his.
The Commons home affairs committee heard that many officers had worked 20-hour shifts as they dealt with the demands placed on them by last week’s rioting. Many had been cheered and clapped by grateful residents as they patrolled the streets, claimed Mr Godwin.
“The Met Police has probably not had as high a morale as it does now, in recent months and years, and that’s because the people are supportive, they’re thanking them for their results on the night”.