Man sentenced for violent disorder and burglary at jewellers in Waltham Cross

20/02/2012

A 21-year-old man convicted of looting and burgling a jewellery shop in Waltham Cross was jailed for 4 years on Friday, 17 February 2012.

Adam O'Harro was told by Judge Michael Baker QC that he was a "hooded and threatening" presence at Ozcan jewellers during last summer's riots.

O'Harro was recalled to prison when he was arrested after being identified as one of the looters on 07 August last year in Waltham Cross High Street.

He had been on licence from an extended prison sentence passed in 2008 when he was one of three who had kidnapped a man and tortured him for hours on end after a drug deal went wrong.

At the time O'Harro, who was aged just 17, was living in Hurst Drive, Waltham Cross. He had pleaded guilty to false imprisonment, blackmail and wounding and was sentenced to 5 years and 6 months. But the judge at that time had passed an extended sentence of 10 years - which meant O'Harro was on licence for four years and 6 months after the end of the 5 and a half year term.

The jury at St Albans Crown Court last week (13 February) convicted him by a majority of 10 to 2 of violent disorder and burglary on 07 August last year - just 10 months after he had been released early from the previous sentence.

O'Harro may now be held in prison until 2018.

He was identified by two Police Community Support Officers who viewed images of the looting which showed a man they said was him leaving the shop at four minutes to eleven at night.

Prosecutor Alison Ginn told the jury that on the night, the police withdrew from the town centre after a mob of young men in hoodies with scarves around their faces ran at them.

The manager of Ozcan Mrs Tugba Temel and her husband, who had been called out to the shop after the burglar alarm went off, were left on their own as a mob stole £20,000 worth of jewellery.

She later told the police she was "shaking with fear" as she was trapped inside the shop when the shutters were forced back. 20 or more youths with hoods covering their faces smashed the glass and snatched items from the display. One man used his head to shatter the glass in a display cabinet.

At one point the shop owner's son Okay Amasyali arrived at the scene. He was armed with a branch which he swung to ward off the looters. The manager's husband armed himself with a broom and joined in. They had some success as the mob retreated, said the prosecutor.

O'Harro now of Grove Road, Leytonstone had pleaded not guilty to violent disorder and burglary. He denied he was part of the mob who looted the shop. In the witness box he said he did not know where he was that night, but said it was possible he could have been with his girlfriend.

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