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Riots probe as looter, 11, in court

An 11-year-old boy stole from a department store during London's riots just days after he had been sentenced for arson and criminal damage, a court has heard.

The boy - the youngest prosecuted in the capital so far over the riots - admitted taking a bin less than a week after being punished for trying to start a fire on a bus.

The case came as details of an independent investigation into the causes of rioting that blighted the capital were announced.

The 11-year-old, who cannot be named, was handed an 18-month youth rehabilitation order at Havering Magistrates' Court in Essex and was told that his local authority will dictate where he lives for the next six months.

The court heard the boy, from Romford, Essex, stole a bin worth £50 from Debenhams in the town on August 8 after the windows of the store were smashed by looters.

He was already under a referral order, put in place on August 3 for an incident on July 18 when he cut the seats of a bus with a craft knife and tried to set fire to the exposed foam.

When the driver would not let him off, the boy threw a stone at the exit door of the route 174 bus and then kicked a hole in the shattered glass so he could jump out while it was still moving. Scotland Yard said he is the youngest rioter in the capital to face prosecution.

The Met said it had made a total of 2,124 arrests relating to the disorder, of which 455 were juveniles.

The 11-year-old's court appearance came as Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg announced that a former chief executive of a London borough hit by some of the worst scenes of rioting is to lead the independent investigation into its causes.

Darra Singh, chief executive of Job Centre Plus and the former chief executive of Ealing - which suffered badly in the disturbances - and Luton councils, will chair the panel that aims to give communities and victims a voice over what happened.


From Belfast Telegraph