TWO young men who admitted handling stolen goods during the August riots have walked free despite being given jail terms.
The defendants from Eastcote and Pinner were given prison sentences deemed to have already been served by a judge, who allowed the pair to try to rebuild their lives.
Pierre Wilkinson, 21, of Fore Street in Eastcote, and Frederick Osei, 22, of James Bedford Close in Pinner, had been driving through Ealing Broadway in the early hours of August 8, on their way to Twickenham, when they spotted boxes on the side of the road.
Wilkinson, who was driving, was seen on CCTV parking his Renault Megane and returning to the vehicle carrying a computer later identified as having been looted from the Seba Electronics shop that lost £200,000-worth of stock.
Osei picked up a Blu-ray player, DVD recorder and microwave, also found on the side of the road.
The pair were arrested and kept in custody, Wilkinson for five weeks and Osei for 84 days prior to the sentencing at Inner London Crown Court on November 2.
Wilkinson was electronically tagged on release and given a curfew, something he followed so closely he requested permission to celebrate his 21st birthday in his garden.
Wilkinson’s defence solicitor told the court: “Pierre has accepted full responsibility and has written a heartfelt letter on the shame caused to his family.
“It is out of character, he understands the impact. He is ambitious and studies broadcast and television at Kingston University.
“He performs with the National Youth Theatre and has an agent. The university said if he goes to jail he will lose his place.”
The court also heard that Osei, who is unemployed, would find it extremely difficult to get a job after his release from jail.
Judge Darling described Wilkinson as an ‘exceptional individual’ and told the pair: “There were 243 offences in Ealing that night and 89 commercial premises were looted. It left residents terrified.
“The context in which the offences were committed does take them outside the usual criminality and sentences will be longer than normal.
“I am satisfied your crimes were opportunistic and occurred after the burglary of the shop.”
Wilkinson was given a four-month jail term, deemed served. Similarly, Osei’s three months in custody since August was long enough to deem his six-month sentence as time served.