Forecourt staff 'fled in terror' from Colliers Wood looters
A teenager has been detained for a year after admitting burgling three shops during last summer’s riots, as more details were revealed about the terror and destruction that took hold in Colliers Wood.
The 17-year-old from Mitcham pleaded guilty to three counts of burglary and one charge of violent disorder during the night of carnage at the Tandem Centre and Priory retail park on August 8.
After being captured on CCTV, the teenager admitted raiding JD Sports and Coral bookmakers in nearby Christchurch Road, before targeting a food and wine store in Cobham Road, Mitcham.
Wimbledon Magistrates’ Court also heard how workers at the nearby Total petrol station in Christchurch Road “fled in terror” after their shop was targeted by dozens of youths intent on violence.
The crown prosecutor said: “There were members of staff who were terrified and locked the front doors and left through the rear, fearing for their safety.”
“JD Sports alone lost £84,371 in stock and £50,844 in repairs.”
Appearing in court on April 6, the teenager, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was made to listen to a written statement by Merton police’s former borough commander, Dick Wolfenden.
Mr Wolfenden railed against the damage that had been done to the community and revealed four police officers were attacked during the Colliers Wood looting, one of whom was taken to hospital, but returned to duty as soon as he was discharged.
The teenager was sentenced to a year in custody at a young offender institution.
He told the court: “What I did I was young and stupid and I just want to change my life and go into construction.
"It was just a moment of stupidity. If I could go back I wouldn’t have done it."
“I am sorry for what I have done to the community.”