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vrijdag, mei 25, 2012

'Millionaire' riot student jailed

Laura JohnsonLaura Johnson is intelligent and well-educated, her trial was told

A millionaire's daughter who drove looters around London during the 2011 riots has been jailed for two years.

Laura Johnson, 20, of Orpington, south-east London, had denied charges of burglary and handling stolen goods, claiming she was acting under duress.

The trial at Inner London Crown Court heard she chauffeured looters on 8 August last year.

She was convicted of taking goods from a Comet store and handling a stolen television from a Currys outlet.

Passing sentence, Judge Patricia Lees said that, like so many others convicted over the riots, Johnson showed a weaker side to her character because she thought she could get away with it.

She observed that Johnson's reaction to the arrival of the police was to put her foot on the accelerator of her car - despite an officer standing in front of it.

The judge described the student's role in the group's lawbreaking as "pivotal".

Hoodies and bandanas

Jurors were told that Johnson drove several looters around various shops during the height of the riots.

Her passengers jumped from the car wearing hooded tops, bandanas and balaclavas and loaded it with stolen electronic goods.

She was joined in the dock by a teenage boy, who had previously admitted burglary by stealing alcohol and cigarettes from a BP garage in Charlton, south-east London.

He can now be named as Christopher Edwards, 17, after the judge lifted an order banning his identification.

Source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-18203338#sa-ns_mchannel=rss&ns_source=PublicRSS20-sa

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