London riots subdued, wheels of justice begin to turn [VIDEO]
The first batches of more than 1,200 people arrested across England began appearing in court today. Among them were a postman, a charity worker, and a millionaire's teen daughter.
First there was the violence and now there is the justice.Skip to next paragraph
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After nearly five nights of violence in towns and cities across England, riot suspects are appearing before the courts where magistrates and judges are under pressure from politicians to hand out severe punishments.
In London, the City of Westminster Magistrates Court remained open all night to deal with a backlog of riot suspects held in custody since trouble erupted Aug. 6. Police say some were arrested at the scene of crimes, while others were arrested after having been identified by surveillance cameras or witnesses.
In a speech to the recalled British parliament, Prime Minster David Cameron said there had been more than 1,200 arrests across England, including 922 in London alone.
“It is criminality pure and simple. And there is absolutely no excuse for it," he told members of Parliament. "We have seen houses, offices, and shops raided and torched, police officers assaulted and fire crews attacked as they try to put out fires, people robbing others while they lie injured and bleeding in the street, and even three innocent people being deliberately run over and killed in Birmingham.
“We will not put up with this in our country. We will not allow a culture of fear to exist on our streets," he said. "And we will do whatever it takes to restore law and order and to rebuild our communities.”
Suspects range from a postman to a millionaire's teen daughter
Despite public outrage few people have turned up at courts to see justice meted out.
At Camberwell Green Magistrates Court, south London, David Pickering from Brixton was the sole person sitting in the public benches waiting to see the court proceedings. He said: “I just wanted to see their faces and who they are. I’m angry about what’s happened and want to know why think they can break windows and steal from shops as if it doesn’t matter.”
In the dock was Piotr Dziedzic, a Polish immigrant who police found in a betting shop in Clapham. Charged with burglary with intent to steal, he appeared indifferent to the charges. He was not required to enter a plea and was remanded in custody.
Others on the court list face similar charges ranging from burglary to possessing an offensive weapon.