London: First people jailed over riots

TWO men today became the first to be sentenced in a crown court for their part in the London riots, the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said.

Richard Bezzina, 43, was jailed for 20 months for violent disorder in Hackney on the evening of August 8 while Steven Frear, 20, was sentenced to six weeks’ imprisonment for possessing an offensive weapon in Enfield on August 10.

Following the sentencing at Wood Green Crown Court in north London, David Robinson, London Deputy Chief Crown Prosecutor, said the prosecutions served as a “strong reminder” the CPS would not hesitate to deal with “this sort of criminal behaviour which affects the whole community”.

He added: “Across London, opportunists committed very serious acts: looting, robbing and causing significant criminal damage, mostly at night when communities feel at their most vulnerable.

“At the hearings today we were able to tell the court exactly how these crimes have affected those communities and give an indication of the losses suffered by businesses which were looted.

Bezzina pleaded guilty at Thames Magistrates’ Court in east London on August 13 and Frear pleaded guilty at Enfield Magistrates’ Court in north London on August 12.

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