Man Faces Court Charged with Burning Down Furniture Store

The Evening Standard (London, England), August 15, 2011 | Go to article overview

Man Faces Court Charged with Burning Down Furniture Store


Byline: Martin Bentham Home Affairs Editor

A MAN was today accused of burning a 150-year-old Croydon furniture store to the ground.

Gordon Thompson, 33, appeared before magistrates charged with two counts of arson, including one with intent to endanger life, over the blaze which destroyed the House of Reeves store in a defining scene of the riots.

He was also accused of stealing a laptop from the store, violent disorder, two burglary offences and the theft of "various items" from the House of Fraser.

Thompson, of Croydon, who spoke only to confirm his name and age, was remanded in custody to appear at Inner London Crown Court later this month. He saluted the public gallery at the town's magistrates court as he was led away to the cells.

District Judge Robert Hunter told him: "Due to the gravity and serious nature of these offences bail is denied."

Magistrates across London continued to deal with suspects arrested for looting and other offences during last week's disturbances.

Others included 19-year-old twins Icah and Micah Livingston from Tulse Hill, who were remanded in custody by Camberwell Green magistrates, after denying stealing a laptop from Curry's in Brixton last Monday.

In another case, a teenage student sobbed as she was remanded in custody after being caught with looted sports goods.

Nadia Kassim, 18 who studies business at Merton College and also looks after her frail mother, wept after admitting handling stolen goods.

Police found more than 20 items from JD Sports in her bedroom.

Kassim has three prior convictions for shoplifting and was denied bail despite her solicitor, Daniel Dambrough, telling the court she had spent a "horrifying" night in prison. …

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