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 Crime news

Tuesday, May 31, 2016
Police want to speak to this man about the meat throwing (Picture: Scotland Yard)

Officers in Islington are investigating a suspected religious hate crime that happened in the early hours of Thursday May 26.

Friday, May 27, 2016
A man in his sixties stabbed in the face 'with a pair of scissors' this morning (Picture: Getty)

Scotland Yard say they have arrested someone after a man was viciously stabbed in the face with a pair of scissors in west London.

Friday, May 27, 2016
Michael Purcell has been jailed for life

A Cricklewood steelworker who murdered his lesbian flatmate showed his hatred of her sexuality by mutilating her genitals it has been revealed today.

Friday, May 27, 2016
Police said men fired shots at a car in Armitage Road in Greenwich (Picture: Street View)

A young man was rushed to hospital last night after he was shot at ‘while in his car’ on a Greenwich street, Scotland Yard said.

Thursday, May 26, 2016
Armed police will patrol Brent

Armed police will be patrolling the streets of Brent following an increase in shootings in the borough.

Thursday, May 26, 2016
The mystery girl was found wandering in  the evening in Daleham Gardens

Police are trying to trace an 11-year-old girl who was discovered wandering in the street in her pyjamas saying she had run away from home.

What is this?

Near You Now

Don't Miss...

Competitions

Win a BMW 1 series

There are fewer cars currently on the market more stylish and exciting than the BMW. Known all over the world as one of the best car manufacturers, the BMW is renowned for sleek designs and fantastic high quality workmanship.

Read more
Kindle 7 inch tablet

Are you looking for a brand new gadget to help you stay connected on the go and make that long journey home a bit more entertaining? Look no further. MyOffers is giving you the chance to win 1 of 50 Kindle Fire 7” Display Tablets! That’s 50 times more chances to win, so hurry up and enter our competition today and you could be one of our lucky winners!

Read more

Latest Tech News

Transport