Riots arsonist jailed for 11 yrs

A looter who has admitted starting a massive fire that destroyed a 140-year-old furniture shop in Croydon during last summer's riots has been jailed for 11 and a half years.

Gordon Thompson pleaded guilty to arson and burglary.

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Riots arsonist caught on camera before devastating blaze

Photographs have emerged of convicted arsonist Gordon Thompson, looting in London ahead of the massive Croydon blaze that destroyed 140-year-old furniture store, House of Reeves.

Gordon Thompson captured looting during last summer's London riots. Credit: ITV News

Thompson brazenly posed for a photographer during the crime spree and ended up on the front page of a local newspaper. The 34-year-old was jailed at the Old Bailey and will serve 11-and-a-half-years for arson and burglary.

Thompson caught on camera looting in the streets of London before the Croydon blaze. Credit: ITV News

Devastation following furniture store blaze

The Metropolitan Police has released images of the devastation following the blaze at House of Reeves furniture store in Croydon during last summer's riots.

Today Gordon Thompsonm of Waddon Road, Croydon, was jailed for 11 and a half years for starting the fire, which destroyed the 140-year-old family business.

An aerial view of House of Reeves following its demolition. Credit: Metropolitan Police
The ruins of House of Reeves in Croydon following last summer's blaze. Credit: Metropolitan Police
The remains of the 140-year-old Croydon furniture store following the blaze last year. Credit: Metropolitan Police

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Mum who leapt for her life during blaze 'welcomes sentence'

Monika Konczyk, who was photographed jumping out a window after the nearby Reeves furniture store was set alight by Gordon Thompson, says she thinks his 11-and-a-half year jail term is "good".

Monika Konczyk leaping from her home after a blaze was started at nearby House of Reeves furniture store in August last year. Credit: WENN.com

I spoke to Monika in the Poundland store she works at with her sister in Croydon, where she told me she hopes today will be the end of her ordeal.

Monika Konczyk, who survived the blaze during last year's riots.

The photograph of her leaping from a burning building became one of the iconic images of the riots and one of the most critically acclaimed photographs of 2011.

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Judge condemns Thompson's 'dangerous vandalism'

This day was a bad day for Croydon and the people of Croydon. Perhaps the most shocking event was that the House of Reeves was set alight and burned to the ground, putting lives at risk.

[ The shop ] had stood on the site for over 140 years, proudly giving its name to its location, Reeves Corner. You were about to bring all that to an end.

This was a deliberate, wilful act of shocking, dangerous vandalism.

– Judge Peter Thornton

Maurice Reeves: 'How could Thompson do so much harm?'

Maurice Reeves and son Trevor make a statement outside Old Bailey Credit: ITV News

Maurice Reeves, whose furniture store was destroyed during the London riots, asked how Gordon Thompson "could do so much harm to so many people" in a statement outside the Old Bailey.

He added that he thought it was "a fair judgment" after Thompson received 11 and a half years in jail.

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