Men convicted of robbing Malaysian student during riots have convictions quashed

13:32 29 November 2012

Ashraf Rossli was attacked in Barking during the London riots

Ashraf Rossli was attacked in Barking during the London riots

PA Wire/Press Association Images

Two men who were locked up after being found guilty of involvement in one of the defining moments of the London riots have today had their convictions quashed.

Millions of people around the world watched CCTV footage of 21-year-old Ashraf Rossli being robbed in Barking by men purporting to be Good Samaritans.

Mr Rossli, a Malaysian accountancy student, had only moments earlier had his jaw shattered by another rioter as he cycled in Barking, east London, in August 2011.

John Kassongs Kafunda, 23, of Eastwood Road, Goodmayes, and Reece Donovan, 25, of Cross Road, Romford, were accused of robbing him as he walked dazed over the Queen’s Road flyover.

At Wood Green Crown Court, Mr Kafunda was jailed for four years and three months for robbery and violent disorder, and Mr Donovan for five years for robbery, violent disorder and burglary.

They appealed and today saw their convictions overturned by the country’s top judge, the Lord Chief Justice, Lord Judge, sitting with two senior colleagues.

The hearing was held in private at the Court of Appeal, but Lord Judge, Mr Justice Fulford and Mr Justice Bean announced their decision in open court.

Mr Rossli had been in Britain for only a month when he was attacked on August 8, 2011.

Moments later, he is seen in footage being lifted to his feet and, seemingly, shepherded away from trouble.

But soon two men begin rifling through his bag while his back is turned, making off with a games console and games.

As police looked for the offenders, the footage was posted on YouTube and was watched around the world.

Mr Kafunda and Mr Donovan insisted it was not them in the video clip, but were convicted on the back of anonymous witness evidence.

The prosecution did not seek a retrial.

Latest Stories

Yesterday, 15:01
The Back to the Future preview of Secret Cinema has been cancelled

Secret Cinema have cancelled their Back to the Future events until July 31.

Read more
Yesterday, 17:49
The two parts of the chair were inspired by the curves of an anonymous male model [Photo courtesy of Gigi Barker][Photo courtesy of Gigi Barker]

A London designer has created a unique chair designed to look, feel and smell like human skin.

Read more
Yesterday, 12:50
Planned engineering works could affect your journey this weekend.

There is a relatively minor programme of planned closures on the Tube and Overground network this weekend - but they could still affect your journey. Read on for the lowdown.

Read more

Quirky London

Quizzes

How much do you really know about QPR legends like Les Ferdinand? Picture: Neal Simpson/EMPICS Sport

Test your knowledge of QPR’s greatest players with our fantastic legends quiz.

Read more
How much do you know about films in London? (Photo by Fox Photos/Getty Images)

Do you know your Lock Stock from your Long Good Friday, Sliding Doors from Shakespeare in Love?

Read more
How much about this great city do you really know? Take our true Londoner quiz and find out (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

Do you know your apples from your pears? Take our Cockney quiz and see how much of a Londoner you really are.

Read more