Magistrates told a man who was found guilty of criminal damage in Banbury during the 2011 riots that he ‘has to pay’ for what he did.
On August 9, 2011 – at the height of the London riots – Leon Chin, of Kingsmead Avenue, Mitcham, Surrey, threw a wheelie bin through the window of an empty shop at Castle Quay shopping centre in Market Place, Banbury.
At Banbury Magistrates’ Court last Friday, Chin, who had denied the charge, was found guilty and sentenced to 140 hours of unpaid work and ordered to pay £600 costs.
Sentencing him, magistrate Norman McRae said: “You are a most unimpressive and non-credible witness and therefore we find you guilty. It was a time of civil unrest in the country.
“Your actions are just not acceptable in our society and for that, you have to pay.”
Between August 6 and 10 2011, thousands of people rioted throughout London and in cities and towns across England following the death of Mark Duggan, who was shot by police in Tottenham, north London.It took police two years to have Chin convicted for the ‘copycat’ offence, having used expert imagery analysis of CCTV footage to catch him.
Although from Surrey, Chin frequently visited family and friends in Banbury and on the date of the offence he was captured on CCTV among a crowd of people in the Market Place, committing the offence.
In October the same year, Chin was arrested in Bridge Street when an officer recognised him from the footage.
Following his arrest, an imagery investigator compared the CCTV footage with photos of Chin and found there was ‘moderate support verging on support’ for Chin and the man in the footage being the same person.
Detective Sergeant Steve Birchall of Banbury Police Station, said: “A long time ago we pledged we would pursue every line of inquiry, no matter how long it took.
“There was no reason for people to commit offences and there was no reason for the people involved here in Banbury to feel disenfranchised in any way.
“I’m pleased we’ve brought this person to justice and maintained the promise we made at the beginning. We were never going to let this go and I hope this case sends out that message.”