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Looter handed himself in to police

A 22-year-old man handed himself in to police after looting an Adidas shop amid scenes of violence and disorder earlier this month because "his conscience got the better of him".

Leonard Stephens, of Milner Court, St Andrew's Road in Birmingham's Bordesley Village, took himself to a police station not long after he stole items from an Adidas store even though he encountered police at the scene who let him go.

Judge Inman handed Stephens an 18-month prison sentence at Birmingham Crown Court after he pleaded guilty to one count of burglary at the city's magistrates' court earlier this month.

John Attwood, representing Stephens, told Judge Melbourne Inman QC: "Your honour will know that this still relatively young man surrendered himself to the police on the morning of August 11 because his conscience got the better of him. He turned up at the police station at 8.30am but the police were busy and could not deal with him."

Mr Attwood said Stephens was sent home before an officer contacted him later in the day and that is when he admitted his part in the burglary.

Mr Attwood said Stephens was on a bus on his way home when it was diverted because of the disturbances in Birmingham city centre. He saw people smashing their way into various other businesses but when he saw the Adidas store on New Street had been broken into he decided to enter.

Mr Attwood said he took various items from the store and put them in a bag before leaving. It was on his way back that he met a police van.

Officers at the scene let Stephens go but it was over the next few days that he felt the "full impact and enormous guilt" for his actions and decided to hand himself in, Mr Attwood said.

Prosecutor Hayley Firman said Stephens stole jogging bottoms, T-shirts and shorts of an unknown monetary value from the Adidas store on New Street on August 8.

Judge Inman told Stephens he had reduced his sentence because he handed himself in and also because he entered an early guilty plea. But he added: "I'm quite satisfied that each of you and a large number of others were fortified by the view that because of the large number of people involved the chances of you being caught or stopped were considerably less."


From Belfast Telegraph