House of Reeves arsonist Gordon Thompson jailed for London riots rampage

12:12 11 April 2012

Gutted: House of Reeves

Gutted: House of Reeves

PA Wire/Press Association Images

The looter who burned down House of Reeves furniture shop in Croydon during the London riots was jailed for 11 and six months, today.

Gordon Thompson, 34, was sentenced at the Old Bailey for arson being reckless as to whether life was endangered at House of Reeves in Croydon, south London, and burglary.

The Old Bailey heard Thompson “could not believe” the damage he did by setting a sofa alight and pushing it into shop during the London riots.

The resulting huge blaze was so fierce it completely destroyed the shop and spread to adjacent shops, even damaging tram lines on the street.

Shop owner Trevor Reeve said losing the shop which had been in the family for 140 years was like a “bereavement.”

“The total destruction of the site has been a bereavement to me, I just can’t understand what I have done to make someone do this to me,” said Mr Reeves in a statement.

Jailing Thompson, Judge Peter Thornton told him; “This day was a bad day for Croydon and the people of Croydon.

He continued; “the Reeves family lost their historic business, something they and generations before had lived and worked for all their lives. Their loss is priceless. The trauma they have suffered is inestimable.”

He was given 11 and a half years for the arson, two years each for two counts of burglary, and three years for a third count of burglary, to run concurrently.

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