Longest jail term yet for Hackney rioter

A 23-year-old rioter who torched cars, beat up passersby, burgled shops and attacked police, has been jailed for six and a half years – the longest prison term handed out so far in Hackney for last summer’s disturbances.

Stephen Prince, of Warwick Grove, Upper Clapton, was sentenced last Friday (June 8), after being found guilty of two counts of burglary, two counts of arson, robbery, violent disorder and common assault by Wood Green Court on June 7.

Hackney Police’s Operation Withern team, the riot investigation unit, trawled through hundreds of hours of CCTV footage and found clips showing Prince throwing bottles and concrete rubble at officers, setting cars ablaze in the street, violently robbing a passerby of his bicycle, burgling a convenience store twice, and assaulting another member of the public.

Prince was wearing the same jeans and trainers seen on the CCTV cameras when he was arrested in December last year after four police officers independently identified him when they watched footage of the carnage filmed on August 8.

Det Sgt Kate Davies, of Hackney’s Operation Withern team, said: “This is an excellent result and it is clear from the CCTV footage that this sentence is of an appropriate length, for this appalling behaviour.

“The judge commented that Prince had shown a deep animosity towards police and indeed appeared from the CCTC footage to be enjoying himself when committing the offences.

“My team will continue to work hard in identifying and prosecuting criminals who show the same disregard for the community, community life and the police.”