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Britain’s Riot Suspects Include 11-year-old Girl

LONDON, Aug. 11 (UPI) — An 11-year-old girl is among the 1,500 arrested in four days of rioting and violence in Britain, police said Thursday.

Though she apparently was the youngest suspect, others were almost as young. The girl was charged with criminal damage and attempted criminal damage in Nottingham, England, where three 14 year olds were also charged with violent disorder, The Daily Telegraph reported.

The 11 year old pleaded guilty in magistrate’s court to the crimes during Tuesday night’s rioting, The Guardian reported, and received a nine-month referral order — a non-jail penalty involving reporting to a youth offenders panel.

The Guardian said the girl was sitting in a McDonald’s restaurant when 30 or 40 boys walked past, and told the judge she decided to join them because “everyone was egging me on.”

In Manchester, England, one of the suspects dealt with by a court overnight included a woman with 96 previous convictions for theft. The Guardian said the woman, Linda Boyd, 31, pleaded guilty to stealing alcohol, cigarettes and mobile phone accessories — police also said she was drunk, The Guardian said — but she didn’t have a kind word for the judge.

Boyd’s case was adjourned until Aug. 16, when she is scheduled to be sentenced in Manchester crown court. The newspaper said she stalked out of the dock telling the district judge to “go away, shut up.”

The newspaper said more than 110 of those charged appeared overnight before a special sitting of Manchester magistrates court, mostly for alleged crimes Tuesday night. They included an 18-year-old man charged with arson after a Miss Selfridge clothing store went up in flames.

In Winchester, near London, a 21-year-old law student was among 16 young people charged with violence in tony St. John’s Wood early Wednesday. The student, Marouane Rouhi, said through his solicitor he was eager to clear his name so he could pursue his legal career, The Telegraph said.

Also in Winchester, the newspaper said, a 17-year-old dancer trainee turned herself in after her picture appeared in a newspaper and on television.

The Guardian said suspected rioters were still filing through Winchester magistrates courts Thursday, where judges heard about 100 cases in 12 hours, with about 30 more to come.

The newspaper said as of Thursday morning police had arrested 888 people in London in the riots. One of them, Natasha Reid, 24, was sitting in a McDonald’s Sunday night when she saw looting going on and decided to join in, stealing a new television set, The Guardian said.

Her solicitor said she had been wracked with guilt and hadn’t slept since. She pleaded guilty, was released on bail and is due for sentencing on Sept. 1.

Magistrates in Solihull, in the West Midlands of England, sent 20 defendants to prison in an all-night session, including a man who allegedly stole about 5,000 pounds (more than $8,100) in perfume.

UPI - United Press International, Inc.

Since 1907, United Press International (UPI) has been a leading provider of critical information to media outlets, businesses, governments and researchers worldwide.

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