UK Riots: Hundreds Looters are Arrested and Charged

As the UK pays tribute to three victims of Birmingham riots, the trials continue all over the country; and Prime Minister David Cameron is going address parliament today in an emergency session called in the wake of riots across the UK.

David Cameron meets with senior officers from the police, fire and ambulance services at a meeting at Wolverhampton Civic Centre in Wolverhampton. Photo: The Prime Minister's Office/Flickr.

After four nights of disorder, rain and an increased police presence led to a relatively quiet night in Britain’s cities. The Daily Telegraph published photos of accused looters among whom were 11-year old boy, a grammar school girl and a teaching assistant.

Tom Whitehead and Holly Watt report: “The 19–year–old is a high–flying pupil who attended St Olave’s Grammar School – the fourth best performing state school in the country. She is now reading English and Italian at the University of Exeter.”

“However, Miss Johnson now stands accused, along with two others, in connection with the alleged theft of £5,000 of goods from the Stonelake Retail Park in Charlton, south London.

The goods were allegedly found in a car being driven by Miss Johnson.”

“It was claimed that they were stolen from a Comet store. Miss Johnson appeared before Bexleyheath magistrates’ court where she indicated a plea of not guilty to five counts of burglary.”

All eyes last night were on Birmingham, which last night was mourning the deaths of brothers Shazad Ali, 30 and Abdul Masavir, 31, and their friend Haroon Jahan, 21. There were fears that racial tensions could erupt into violence but instead friends of the dead gathered in candlelight vigil.

At half past 10 last night a group of around 300 people gathered at the petrol station in the Winson Green area of the city, where the three men had died, according to The Telegraph.

They had initially planned to march the two-mile route along the Dudley Road into the city centre. But with roads in to Birmingham shut they decided to hold a vigil at the station.

Tarmiq Jahan, father of Haroon Jahan, who was killed killed by a car along with two other men in the Winson Green area of Birmingham, central England August 10, 2011, told that he rushed to aid a dying man hit by a car during riots in the English city of Birmingham only to find it was his 21-year-old son.

“I heard the thud, ran around and I saw three people on the ground,” Tariq Jahan told reporters. “My instinct was to help the three people. I didn’t know who they were, who’d been injured. I helped the first man, and somebody from behind told me my son was lying behind me.

“So I started CPR on my own son. My face was covered in blood, my hands were covered in blood. Why, why?,” Jahan said. “I don’t understand. We are here defending the community of all the problems that are going on in the country. He was trying to help his community.”

He said his son, Haroon, a mechanic, was well-liked and well-known in the community. “You lose your son, I can’t describe to anyone what it feels like to lose your son,” he said.

Making a televised statement Jahan said: “Last night we lost three cherished members of our community… today we stand here to plead with all the youth to remain calm and for our communities to stand united.”

He said: “We need to show solidarity, that we will help whoever we see. Muslims and Sikhs must come together now to help each other and the whole community.”

The Metropolitan police said on Thursday morning that 888 had been arrested in relation to the looting, arson and public disorder.

Courts have sat through the night to process arrests and so far 371 have been charged, including a primary school worker, a charity volunteer and college students. [via The Telegraph, Huffpost and International Business Times]

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