London/ Trimley: ‘Rioters were screaming at me’ – hooded looters turn on Press Association journalist

LONDON/ TRIMLEY: A journalist who hails from Suffolk today told of the “terrifying” moment looters turned on her during last night’s riots.

Ella Pickover, who works for the Press Association, was brought up in Trimley St Mary and now lives in East Dulwich, south east London.

She was on her journey home when she saw a gang of hooded young men breaking into a Tesco Metro in Peckham.

The 26-year-old said: “They started kicking down the door and within seconds made their way in. Three of them went straight for the tills and four others followed them.

“We legged it because they started shouting at us, it was pretty terrifying. They were screaming at me because I was on the phone.

“They said I was phoning the police, but I was actually on the phone to my newsdesk to tell them what was happening. It’s crazy here.”

Ms Pickover reported her friends had similar experiences at the hands of violent, aggressive rioters.

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She said: “One of my friends got off a bus at Peckham because rioters started pushing a huge industrial bin into his bus and smashing the windows.”

People caught up in the chaos reported similar events from across the capital.

Passengers on a bus travelling through Hackney were forced off when about 50 masked rioters who surrounded the vehicle.

Roger Love, a business owner in the area, reported when police lined the streets early this afternoon people knew rioting would soon follow.

He said: “People started shutting up shop and boarding their windows. This isn’t crazed violence – this is a systematic attack. Rioters are smashing up buildings and then returning to loot them.”

Dalston resident James Doncaster, 24, from Ipswich said: “There is an eerie silence here. Shopkeepers have boarded up their shops and are waiting outside them in anticipation of more riots. There are gangs walking around with their faces covered and it is just horrible. I’m really, really angry about this – it’s like a war zone here.”

Streatham resident Chris McDermott, 23, from Martlesham said: “We are sort of in between riots happening in south London so I have that feeling of being penned in. We are watching it on the news and there’s no way any of us are leaving the house right now.

You can smell smoke in the air and hear sirens. This whole thing is a complete disgrace.”

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