Teen who looted two Ilford Lane shops in London riots denies Malaysian student attack
PUBLISHED: 10:26 16 February 2012 | UPDATED: 10:55 16 February 2012
PA Wire/Press Association Images
A teenager who denies smashing a Malaysian student’s jaw after looting in Ilford Lane during the London riots has said he is ashamed of the person who did it.
Ashraf Rossli, 20, had been in Britain for just a month when he was attacked and his bicycle stolen in Barking in August.
As looting and rioting swept through England, Mr Rossli was cycling to look after a scared female friend when he encountered a mob.
He managed to move through the crowd but was hit in the face and left on the floor in a pool of blood.
Seconds later his bicycle was stolen.
Yesterday, a 17-year-old boy who admits stealing the bike, told Wood Green Crown Court: “I felt ashamed of the person who did assault Mr Rossli.
“I felt very disgusted with what happened and I feel very sorry for him.”
The defendant admits stealing the bicycle because he was “tired” but insisted a witness was mistaken in saying the person who punched Mr Rossli also stole the bike.
The defendant is too young to be named but has admitted that before stealing the bike he committed violent disorder and two counts of burglary by breaking into a betting shop and a food and wine store in Ilford Lane.
He said he then left Ilford Lane for Barking, where he stole the bike because he was trying to find his younger brother.
He said by stealing the bicycle he was “not behaving dishonestly but I was behaving in a way I shouldn’t have”.
Asked why he took it, he said he was not aware it belonged to anyone, and added: “Not sure.
“I was tired and excited.
“I just picked up the bike and rode off.”
Christopher Hehir, prosecuting, asked him why he was so tired and the accused answered that he had been running around using a lot of energy.
“Is it your evidence that all the crimes you committed in Ilford Lane had made you exhausted?” asked the barrister.
“Basically, yes,” answered the defendant, dressed in a grey suit, shirt and tie.
After cycling off the teenager dumped the bike at a nearby Tesco.
Asked by his barrister Robert Shaw how he felt about himself, he answered: “When I watched the footage in interview I was very, very ashamed of myself and panicked and was very worried.
“I didn’t mean to take the bike that was on the floor and not aware of anyone who was there being injured.
“I felt very ashamed of myself.
“I don’t think it was right and feel very sorry for what I did.”
CCTV footage of the moments after the attack was played to the jury of three women and eight men in which only a few people were present as the victim sat bloodied on the floor.
As cross-examination continued, the teenager admitted he was interested in stealing other people’s property.
He denies demanding the bike from Mr Rossli, who has two metal plates in his jaw, before allegedly throwing a single punch.
The jury are expected to begin their deliberations this morning.
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