Riot teenager locked up over death
The teenager who killed pensioner Richard Mannington Bowes during the summer riots has been locked up for eight years, as his victim's sister said she forgave him.
Darrell Desuze, 17, punched the elderly man to the ground as disturbances swept the country on August 8 last year. Mr Bowes, who had been trying to put out a fire in a dustbin near his home in Ealing, west London, suffered brain damage and died three days later in hospital.
Desuze, who was 16 at the time, was sentenced to eight years' detention at Inner London Crown Court, while his mother Lavinia was jailed for 18 months for perverting the course of justice by getting rid of the clothes he wore that night.
Mr Bowes' sister Anne Wilderspin, who travelled from Derbyshire for the hearing, said she forgave Desuze for killing her brother. She said although she had been separated from Mr Bowes for many years, she hoped for a reconciliation, which the teenager had "permanently denied".
"I was completely devastated that I had found my brother and lost him again on the same day," she said.
But she said justice had been served and some months ago had decided to forgive Desuze. "Darrell and his mother have blown their prospects as regards opportunities for future employment. Their integrity is hopelessly damaged. I hope and pray that they will now have the opportunity to look at their lifestyles in a different light so as to find a new purpose in life."
Desuze - who once enjoyed a school trip to the Metropolitan Police's riot training centre in Gravesend, Kent, where he watched a simulated riot - was caught on camera kicking in a shopping centre's glass doors before joining a mob that attacked heavily outnumbered police with missiles around Spring Bridge Road.
Wearing a distinctive top saying "Robbers and Villains", he punched Mr Bowes in the jaw, knocking him unconscious. The pensioner fell backwards on to the pavement and his head took the full force of the impact on the road.
It was several minutes before police could get to the pensioner, because of the violent scenes around him. Desuze previously pleaded guilty to manslaughter, as well as a charge of violent disorder and four counts of burglary.
His 31-year-old mother was found guilty by a jury of perverting the course of justice, and was jailed for 18 months for destroying and disposing of the distinctive clothing her son wore that night.