Croydon: Man in court in connection with blaze at furniture store

A man appeared in court today charged with starting a fire that destroyed a furniture store during the recent riots.

Gordon Edward Thompson, 33, is accused of setting Reeves Furniture Store in Croydon, south London, ablaze on August 8.

He appeared at Croydon Magistrates Court accused of two counts of arson.

Wearing a grey top and jeans, Thompson spoke only to confirm his name and address during the short hearing.

He is accused of two counts of burglary in relation to allegedly stealing a laptop, as well as various items from a branch of House of Fraser.

Thompson, of Waddon Road, Croydon, is also charged with violent disorder in Croydon town centre.

He was remanded in custody to appear at Inner London Crown Court on August 22.

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The Reeves store was set up in 1867 and its current owner Trevor Reeves is the fifth generation of the family to run the business.

Reeves Corner in Croydon is named after the firm.