Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 30 September 2014

Fire leap woman raps 'sick' society

A property on fire near Reeves Corner, Croydon, south London

A woman who was forced to leap out of her burning home after it was set alight during the London riots has described English society as "sick".

Polish national Monika Konczyk, 32, said she came to the UK five months ago seeking a better life - but nearly lost it during the disorder that devastated London.

In an interview with the Sun, Ms Konczyk said: "I came to England because I thought it was a great country full of kind and gentle people. I thought London was a civilised society full of gentlemen and ladies - but it is not like that. England has become a sick society."

A picture of Ms Konczyk jumping 16ft from her first floor window into the arms of police in Croydon, south London, was one of the defining images of the unrest.

It was taken by photographers as gangs of masked youths and rioters ran amok in the suburb on Monday night and Tuesday morning.

The Poundland shop assistant added: "I found myself jumping for my life after being attacked by thugs and thieves. They set fire to my building without any thought for anyone's safety.

"They were happy for me to die. They were like animals - greedy, selfish animals who thought only of themselves."

The mother-of-one said she became trapped in her rented flat above a shop just yards away from the historic Reeves furniture store which was razed to the ground during the unrest.

"I am shocked to find people behaving like this in England. It is not what I expected of the English," she said.

"I have never seen anything like this in Poland. Polish people are hard-working and respectable. They believe in working for a living, not stealing from others. If you want nice clothes or a new TV, you don't smash shop windows and loot them - you work and pay for them."

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