Riot robbery convictions overturned

Reece Donovan and John Kafunda have had their convictions overturned Photo: Metropolitan Police

Two men jailed for robbing a Malaysian student while pretending to help him during last year's riots have had their convictions overturned.

Reece Donovan, 24, and John Kafunda, 22, were tried after witnesses identified them. The incident was caught on mobile phone footage posted to YouTube.

It showed Ashraf Rossli being robbed by two men as they helped him to his feet during last year's riots in east London. A judge has now ruled that the convictions for robbery are unsafe, as two witnesses were wrongly allowed to give evidence anonymously.

Ashraf Rossli was attacked in Barking on the 8th August last year Credit: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

In the video footage, one man was seen rifling through Mr Rossli's backpack while another helped him up. Minutes earlier, he had been attacked by another rioter who had stolen his bike and punched him in the face, shattering his jaw. Beau Isagba has admitted stealing the bike and was jailed for seven years.

John Kafunda and Reece Donovan were both found guilty of robbery and violent disorder.

Kafunda was sentenced to four years and three months, and Donovan was jailed for five years.

Those convictions have now been overturned, and the two men have been freed after spending 16 months in prison.