‘Copycat’ riot teenagers in court

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YOBS hurled petrol bombs at a police station in copycat riots, a court heard.

As violence spread through London and across the UK last summer, a brick was thrown through a window at Washington police station and a patrol car set on fire in the car park.

At the sentencing of three Washington terenagers yesterday, Newcastle Crown Court heard that Pc David Bagley was showered with glass when the window, came in as he worked on a computer in a first floor room.

He suffered abrasions to his cornea when his eye was scraped with broken glass.

At least two petrol bombs were thrown in the station’s yard and a £15,000 police car set ablaze and written off by the group of up to six young men.

Prosecutor Robert Adams said: “This was the furthest north the troubles got, and the only incident in the North East.

“This was an attack on an arm of the state. This was an attack on police officers who were to maintain law and order, which was needed at the time.

“Thankfully, physical injury was limited to one police officer and the cost to the state was limited to £15,000.”

Jamie Nolan, 19, of The Poplars, Biddick, admitted violent disorder and perverting the course of justice by giving himself a false alibi on the night of the trouble.

Jordan Dixon, 17, of Thornhope Close, Barmston, and Nikkie Schofield, 17, of Roche Court, Glebe, both admitted arson.

Prosecutors accept none of them were responsible for throwing any petrol bombs during the incident on August 10.

They were part of a larger group of young men, arrested after a police dog tracked the scent of the hooded louts who ran off from the scene.

The court heard the dog found an Adidas and a Mackenzie sweatshirt that were linked to the two younger defendants.

Others believed to be involved could not be brought before the courts due to lack of evidence.

Judge John Milford said: “The crown’s case is it was a copycat effect, serious enough but much lower key, fortunately, to what had gone on elsewhere.”

He told the trio: “In early August last year there were, in London and other cities in this country, riots and widespread looting of shops.

“In this region it did not occur, which the people of it should take pride.

“There was one exception though where the copybook was blotted, and it was blotted by you three and others who should be but are not before the court.

“It was serious offending, but that said, one must keep things in proportion, and it pales into insignificance when one compares it with what was going on for instance in Croydon.”

The judge allowed all three, who have spent varying amounts of times in custody and abiding by curfews, to keep their freedom.

Nolan was sentenced to 12 months’ imprisonment, suspended for two years, with 12 months supervision.

Schofield was given a youth rehabilitation order for two years, with intensive surveillance and supervision for six months and a three-month night-time curfew.

Dixon was sentenced to a youth rehabilitation order with a three-month night time curfew, intensive surveillance and supervision for six months and a 91-day activity requirement.

Defence barristers said all three acted out of character that night and now deeply regret their involvement.

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