- Tower Hamlets
Christopher Edwards, 17, from Catford has been jailed today with millionaire’s daughter and university student, Laura Johnson, for looting offences during last summer’s riots.
The judge at the Inner London Crown Court removed the reporting restriction on his identity and ordered that he be detained for 12 months. Laura Johnson, 20, of Sheep Coat Lane, Orpington received two years youth custody for offences relating to the disorder.
They were arrested together in the early hours of August 9 2011 when their car was stopped by police officers in the Greenwich Peninsula Retail Park, SE10.
The car was found to be loaded with electrical goods which had been stolen from local retail parks in the area.
At an earlier hearing Johnson was found guilty of burglary at Comet on the Greenwich Peninsula and handling stolen goods from Currys on Stone Lake Retail Park, Charlton. The court heard that Laura was grammar school educated and brought up in a country house in Orpington. Her parents Robert, 56, and Lindsay, 55, who run their own marketing business have been variously described in the media as “wealthy” with a “millionaire” status.
Edwards was found guilty of the same offences and had pleaded guilty to a burglary at a BP garage on Woolwich Road, Charlton. His 12 month detention sentence is coupled with a training order.
A suspect, also in the car and who fled the scene, is still being sought by the police.
Judge Patricia Lees told them during sentencing: “Your actions added to the overall lawlessness that threatened to overwhelm the forces of law and order.
You both come from loving and supportive homes, of neither of you it could be said that your parents have not provided every advantage they could for you.”
“You both revealed your weaker side to your characters in taking advantage of an escalating situation because you thought you could get away with it and would not be caught,” she added.
Detective Sergeant Mark Gilchrist, who led the police enquiry, said: “We are pleased with the result of this investigation. Laura Johnson went out on the evening of the 8 of August with the intention of stealing from local stores and join in the mass disorder and looting.
“We continue to investigate and pursue those involved in the August disorder and are still trawling through a large volume of CCTV footage. Suspects are being identified on a daily basis which is leading to further arrests and court appearances.
“We would like to thank all members of the public that have provided us with vital information, which, as in the case of Laura Johnson, has formed part of the prosecution – we are grateful for all the help received and would like to encourage people to continue to assist us and provide us with information which may be pivotal to bringing criminals to justice.”