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Riot

These riots were not about race: the perpetrators and the victims were white, black and Asian. These riots were not about government cuts: they were directed at high street stores, not Parliament. And these riots were not about poverty: that insults the millions of people who, whatever the hardship, would never dream of making others suffer like this. No, this was about behaviour… …people showing indifference to right and wrong… people with a twisted moral code… people with a complete absence of self-restraint. – David Cameron (15 August 2011)

These sentences were not about race: the perpetrators and the victims were white, black and Asian. These sentences were not about government cuts: there is plenty of money to jail people for robbing high street stores and throwing stones at riot police, just not for Youth Centers in Haringey. But these sentences were all about poverty: they are insults to the millions of people who, whatever the hardship, would never dream of making others suffer like those MPs who fiddled their generous expenses and those bankers that bet against the same collateralized debt obligations that they were selling. No, these sentences were about behaviour… magistrates showing indifference to right and wrong… judges with a twisted moral code… a legal system with a complete absence of self-restraint.

But above all, these sentences are because riots can turn into mass revolt which can inhibit and occasionally bring down governments. And governments do not like to be bought down.

  • Anderson Fernandes, 22, was warned by a judge at Manchester Magistrates’ Court that he may face jail after he admitted stealing two scoops of ice cream. He will be sentenced next week.
  • Nicolas Robinson, 23, of Borough, south-east London, was jailed for six months for stealing a £3.50 case of water from Lidl supermarket
  • Mother-of-two Ursula Nevin, from Manchester, was jailed for five months for receiving a pair of shorts given to her after they had been looted from a city centre store.
  • Beswick, of Anson Street, Eccles, who the court heard had been given a 37in television to put in his car, was jailed for 18 months for
    handling stolen goods
  • Carter, of James Street, Salford, was caught in King Street, Manchester, with a bag of clothes and shoes worth £500. He was sentenced to 16 months in jail for theft by finding.
  • Ashraf Hussain: Ashraf, 30, received a four year sentence for riot after the court saw video evidence of him throwing two or three stones.
  • Alam Zeb Khan: Alam, 27, received a three year sentence for riot – there was no evidence of him throwing stones but he was described by police as a ‘ringleader’ because he was seen shouting at rioters.
  • Asam Latif: Asam, 33, received a sentence of four years and nine months for riot – he threw six stones at police.
  • Mudasar Khan: Mudasar, 21, Received a one year sentence for violent disorder because he was filmed throwing a stone.
  • Mohammed Ali Zaman: Mohammed, 26, received a sentence of two-and-a-half years for riot after being filmed throwing two or three stones at the police.
  • Mohammed Arif: Mohammed, 26, has been sentenced to five years and three months for riot.
  • Christopher Ullah: Christopher, who is mixed race and 19, was convicted of involvement in the Ravenscliffe Estate disturbances. The events there were not officially classified as a ‘riot’ and so those involved have received much lower sentences than those convicted of involvement in the Manningham riot. Christopher received a sentence of 18 months at a young offenders’ institute.
  • The youngest suspects bought before the courts last week in connection with the riots were an 11-year-old girl and a 12-year-old boy.
  • Wilson Unses Garcia, 42, of Walworth, south London. He was jailed for six months for receiving stolen property: two tennis racquets worth £340 looted from a sports shop in south London.
  • Two men have been sentenced to four years in jail for using Facebook to incite riots and civil unrest in England. The men, 20-year-old Jordan Blackshaw from Marston and 22-year-old Perry Sutcliffe-Keenan from Warrington, were arrested last week after days of riots spread across London.
  • One of the men sentenced to nine months in jail was 19-year-old Adam Rowley, from Woking in Surrey. The Old Bailey heard that he ripped off the blue lamp from a fire brigade vehicle as it raced to the rescue of a woman whose leg had been crushed under a police van. During the Stop the City anti-capitalism riot on 18 June, Rowley was also seen confronting police lines, about to throw a rock. He was later seen with a stick in his hand and carrying a door used in a barricade. Rowley admitted violent disorder and theft.
  • Nicholas Pyne, 26, from Guildford, Surrey, was also jailed for nine months after he admitted violent disorder. Pyne was filmed as mounted police tried to disperse demonstrators. The court heard that he was seen throwing a can of beer at an officer, and later at the head of a horse whose woman police officer rider was pulled off by others.
  • The third man, Steven McNally, 19, a drama student from Woking, Surrey, received 150 hours’ community service after also admitting violent disorder. The Common Serjeant of London, Judge Neil Denison, said McNally had been on the fringes of the violence, rather than a ringleader, and was drunk.
  • The indictment charged the men with having formed part of a riotous mob at a Glencraig on 22nd November last, and, acting with common purpose, assaulted police officers and miners who had returned to work by throwing stones at them, and striking several of them with their fists; broke windows at Glencraig Colliery, set the engine in motion and caused the cage to be raised above its proper stopping place, and damaged the winding gear; and threw stones at and broke the windows of a house occupied by a police pensioner. Sentences appalled imposed on the convicted men wear as follows: – 12 months imprisonment – James Holland, Lochore, and George Armstrong, Crosshill. 9 months – Thomas Malcolm and Peter Aird, South Glencraig, and James Ogle, Crosshill. 8 months – Michael Cooney, Joseph Wilkinson Stewart, Charles Marcinkowitch (Mitchell), James Moffatt, Donald Shoolbread Fraser, South Glencraig; John Hunter, Crosshill; Robert Fleming, James Keicher, and Augustus Keicher, South Glencraig; William Maguire and William Menzies, North Glencraig. [Scotsman 7 April 1927]
  • A total of 11,000miners were arrested; 7,000 injured and eleven people died during the strikes
  • James Anderton, who spent most of his time as Greater Manchester’s chief feuding with his far left police committee. In March 1984, he said of the strict curfews and patrolling of the pit villages, “It appears that the police have imposed a curfew on the community as a whole, not just on the miners, and also that they have restricted free movement. These are things we normally associate with countries behind the iron curtain. The police are getting the image of a heavy handed mob stopping people going about their lawful duties” The Great Strike,Alex Callinicos and Mike Simmons, 1985) http://www.polfed.org/08_Police_Mar09_feature_policing_by_consent.pdf

(note some of the above are people sentenced after previous periods of rioting in the UK and some from the most recent incidents)

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