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Brought before the courts: an estate agent, a law student, a trainee accountant... and a ballerina



The ballerina

The 17-year-old girl from Croydon, who cannot be named for legal reasons, handed herself in to police after spotting her picture in a newspaper appeal.

Westminster Magistrates Court heard how she was among 30 or 40 young people who stormed into the Richer Sounds store during the riots in Croydon on Monday night.

She was captured on CCTV entering the store before emerging with a large-screen television. She later returned to claim a second television. In total, the store said it lost £190,000 of equipment.

The court heard how the girl, who appeared in the dock with her dyed blonde hair in braids and spoke softly only to confirm her name and age, had studied ballet since the age of seven and had secured a place at a dance academy. Her lawyer said she hoped to become a dancer and dance teacher. The court heard that, despite a search of her home, the televisions were not recovered. She pleaded guilty to burglary and was remanded in custody until her appearance at a Crown Court.

The journalism student

Ahmed Farah (27), a journalism and history student from Hackney, east London, was arrested on Lower Clapton Road, Hackney, carrying a kitchen knife. The student, who studies at East London University, told police he had been returning from his uncle's restaurant where he works as a chef.

He pleaded guilty to possession of a knife blade, but the magistrate denied his application for bail. He was remanded in custody until his appearance at Crown Court later this month.

The sportswoman

Chelsea Ives (18) was arrested after her mother spotted her on television and called police.

She was filmed by the BBC throwing bricks at a £60,000 police car during the violence in Enfield on Sunday night.

She was also charged with breaking into the mobile phone shops Fones 4 U and Vodafone and stealing equipment.

“She was first to pick up masonry and hurl it at the window,” said Becky Owens, for the prosecution.

Westminster Magistrates Court heard that Ives said after the alleged rampage that she had “the best day ever”.

Ives denied two counts of burglary, violent disorder and attacking a police car. She was described by her solicitor as a “talented sportswoman”. She was remanded in custody until a date in August.

The estate agent, trainee accountant and engineering student

Saffron Armstrong (22), an accountancy and finance student, Kairo Lawson (22), a second-year civil engineering student, and Gassam Ojjeh (22), an estate agent, all from Mitcham, Surrey, were allegedly caught inside a burnt-out PC World store in Colliers Wood. The defendants were found in the store on Wednesday, 24 hours after it had been raided by looters, the court heard. The court heard how Armstrong told police when they approached him that he was a freelance journalist assessing the damage. Lawson was said to have resisted arrest. His mother, who was said in court to be terminally ill, was in the packed courtroom to witness his hearing.

Armstrong and Lawson pleaded guilty to burglary with intent to steal, while Ojjeh denied the charges. All three were remanded in custody.

The law student

Marouane Rouhi (20), a law student from St John's Wood, was allegedly among the same group that were rounded up by police after running rampage along Lodge Road. He claimed he was travelling to a mosque and had nothing to do with the rampage. He denied violent disorder and was remanded in custody.

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