Rioters behind bars - but they can't be named

Two teenagers who took part in riots in Wolverhampton were today behind bars – but a judge ruled they cannot be named because it would affect their future job prospects.

WOLVERHAMPTON RIOTS

Two teenagers who took part in riots in Wolverhampton were today behind bars – but a judge ruled they cannot be named because it would affect their future job prospects.

The 15 and 16-year-old boys were among the mob that rampaged through the city streets in August, causing hundreds of thousands of pounds worth of damage to shops.

The 16-year-old, from Park Village, Wolverhampton, walked away from one shop with a £600 flat-screen TV during the disorder on August 9.

The store he targeted – Sunitek.com in Broad Street – suffered around £50,000 in damage and stolen goods during the riots and has still not reopened.

The 15-year-old, of Deansfield, Wolverhampton, was among a group that targeted Zhapp clothing store and EV Beckett Jewellers. Both stores were each left facing bills of tens of thousands of pounds.

Both the 16-year-old, who admitted one charge of burglary, and the 15-year-old, who admitted two counts of trespassing with intent to steal, were sentenced to six months in a young offenders institution when they appeared at Wolverhampton Youth Court yesterday.

But District Judge Graham Wilkinson said he would not allow an application from the Express & Star to lift reporting restrictions preventing either from being identified because it could continue to affect their employment prospects and future relationships for life.

He said that to do so would also affect the families of the youngsters, who were appearing before the courts for the first time.

However, he rejected claims that neither defendant had meant to get involved in the rioting and that they had been in the city centre for other reasons.

He said: “You would have to be deaf and blind not to have known what was going on and everybody knew there was going to be trouble in Wolverhampton that day.”

Meanwhile, the prison population in England and Wales has increased by almost 200 in a week, taking it to a new all-time high of 87,945 – fuelled by sentences on summer rioters.