In cold light of day, looters and rioters facing justice
A STUDENT was yesterday jailed for six months for looting a £3.50 case of water from Lidl during the violence that erupted across London this week.
Nicholas Robinson, 23, was walking back from his girlfriend's house in Brixton in the early hours of Monday when he saw the store in Acre Lane being looted.
He took the opportunity to go in and help himself to a case of water because he was "thirsty," a court heard. But when the police came in, at around 2:40am, he discarded the bottles and attempted to flee the scene. He was caught and arrested by officers.
Wearing a black leather jacket, the electrical engineering student looked shocked as he was jailed by District Judge Alan Baldwin at Camberwell Green Magistrates Court.
There were gasps from the public gallery as the judge handed down the maximum penalty he could to Robinson, who has no previous convictions, for his part in the "chaos".
District Judge Baldwin said: "The burglary of commercial premises in circumstances such as this, where substantial and serious public disorder is or has taken place is commonly known as looting."
Robinson, from south London, pleaded guilty on Tuesday to a charge of burglary of a place other than other than a dwelling (theft).
Zahid Hussain, prosecuting, said: "This defendant has contributed through his action to criminal activities to the atmosphere of chaos and sheer lawlessness.
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"On the 7 August at 2:40am he entered the Lidl store along with many others, looting. "Officers attended the scene. This defendant was seen in possession of bottled water, the value of which amounts to 3.50."
After discarding the water, Robinson ran from police, but was caught and arrested. He then made full admissions to his part in the riots.
He claimed it was an "opportunistic" crime, and he only went in when he saw the store unsecure and wanted a drink.
Robinson is unemployed, but in the second year of his college course, for which he receives a grant. He lives with his family, who subsidise this grant. He will have to spend three months in prison before being released on licence.
Later, at the same court, District Judge Tan Ikram jailed a 24-year-old carer for 20-weeks for theft after he stole a looted bag of alcohol and sweets he found in the streets.
Stefan Bohan, who is a full- time carer for his mother, said he had only gone out for a chocolate bar in the early hours of Tuesday morning when he came across the bag of Blossom Hill bottles of wine and confectionery.
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