London riots: Romford boy, 11, youngest looter in court

17:41 10 August 2011

Damage to Debenhams. Image by Jack Isaacs

Damage to Debenhams. Image by Jack Isaacs


An 11-year-old boy from Romford was the youngest among scores of rioters and looters to appear before magistrates today (Wednesday).

The youngster, 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.

Defendants ranged in age, from different parts of London - but the Romford lad was the youngest.

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. 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.”

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”, which includes 12-hour curfew.

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.

Sign up for our news alerts today!

Our editors' picks for the day's top news delivered to your inbox or phone.

Sign up for email alerts Sign up for mobile alerts
2 3 4 5 6

Latest Crime news

Thursday, October 8, 2015
Roadside tributes to cyclists are not a rare sight in the capital (Photo: Rob Stothard/Getty Images)

A lorry driver has been summonsed to appear at Westminster Magistrates’ Court accused of causing death by careless driving.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015
CCTV footage of the raid at Windsor Bishop jewellers in Norwich carried out by Islington smash and grab raiders Alfredo Rojasvagras, Bradley McMillan,  Mark Moloney and Dillon Zambon with two other associates. Picture: PRESS ASSOCIATION

Islington’s smash and grab shame was thrown back into the spotlight this week, after three men – and one boy – from the borough were jailed for a combined 20 years for a jewellery shop robbery.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015
A man punched a teenager in the face and verbally abused him on a Metropolitan Line train (Picture: PA Images)

A 19-year-old was punched in the face by a man - who was also verbally abusing him - on a Metropolitan Line tube train as it pulled in to Harrow on the Hill station, according to British Transport Police (BTP).

Wednesday, October 7, 2015
Dragos Moisica, 27, a Romanian national of High Street, Edgware, raped a girl on her 12th birthday at a hotel in Kenton (Picture: Metropolitan Police)

This man raped a vulnerable girl on her twelfth birthday. He groomed his child victim - he gave her presents, professed his love and finally lured her to a north London hotel for sex.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015
Winston Churchill statue in Woodford Green was vandalised with paint splashed over it

Vandals have poured orange and pink paint over Winston Churchill’s statue in Woodford Green.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015
Anyone with information about this man is asked to contact police on 101 quoting image 191154 or anonymously via Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111

Police have released a video of a chilling knifepoint robbery in Clerkenwell Close in hopes of identifying a man they want to speak to.

What is this?

Near You Now

Don't Miss...

Line-Up Events


You'll be stocked up on toiletries  for a while!

Cosmetics, toiletries, vitamins and more.

Read more
You could be splashing the cash at Topshop!

Just imagine what you could do with £1,000 to spend at Topshop.

Read more

Latest Tech News