Aber Student Jailed for Looting

AN ABERYSTWYTH student has been jailed for 16 months after pleading guilty to burglary during the riots last week in Manchester. Conrad McGrath, 21, of Stockport, studies English Literature and Creative Writing. He was caught looting “three or four” bottles of alcohol after a group of around 40 others had attacked a Tesco store, forcing open the external doors and internal shutters.

Prosecutors at his hearing said that the 40 rioters had been caught on CCTV attacking the store but could not be identified. McGrath, however, was one of 4 people squeezing through the damaged shutters as police arrived at the scene.

Judge Robert Atherton told McGrath: “You followed the example of others by squeezing under the shutter and seeing what you could steal.” McGrath, wearing his Aberystwyth University T-shirt, nodded to the bench as the Judge continued: “You came into the city despite the advice of friends and your mother. That was stupid and you should have known better. You are a student at university and you have thrown away a lot. It is a heavy price to pay for such behaviour.”

Daniel Gaskell, in mitigation, said of McGrath: “He had a life to look forward to and, as a result of a very brief period of offending, he is worried that all that will be swept away.”
A spokesperson for Tesco said around £4,000 worth of stock had been stolen and £7,000 worth of damage was caused to the store that night.