Police have charged a 16-year-old with killing a pensioner during the London riots last week. The teenage boy, who remains anonymous for legal reasons, was escorted to Croydon Magistrates Court this week. His mother joined him after being charged with perverting the course of justice. This comes as the total amount of people arrested in connection with the riots has reached nearly 1,700. Scotland Yard reports 985 of these being charged, while 237 officers have been injured during the unrest. It's also been reported that three other men were made victims of the disruption.
On Monday, August 8, Richard Mannington Bowes was attacked while trying to extinguish a fire that rioters started near his Ealing, West London home. The 68-year-old was surrounded by a gang, who hit him and caused him to fall back on the road, when he hit his head. Due to the injury, Bowes was rendered unconscious and was pronounced dead on Thursday, August 11, after being in the hospital for a few days.
The prosecutor, John Gardner, says that the 16-year-old was the one who threw the punch that caused the head injury to Bowes and his ultimate death. He told the court that Bowes was seen walking from his home alone to the shopping area in Ealing, where widespread riots had broken out. Fires were lit, and missiles had been thrown. He was seen about at 10:30pm standing near a bin trying to extinguish a fire that had been started in it. Bowes was then challenged by several people when he was punched in the face, fell backwards and hit his head on the surface of the road.
Gardner noted that police reviewed a lot of CCTV footage, and the attacker was alleged to be wearing a light-coloured jumper with the logo 'Robbers and Villains' across it. The youth was then arrested at his Hounslow, West London home and subsequently charged with four counts of burglary, violent disorder and murder. He has been accused of stealing items from Fat Boys (a Thai restaurant), Tesco Express and bookmakers William Hill.
District Judge Robert Hunter has ordered the teen lad to be remanded in secure holdings until his next appearance on Thursday, August 18, at the Old Bailey. Aside from this, the 16-year-old's mother was arrested on suspicion of perverting the course of justice. The 31-year-old has been refused bail as well and will appear with her son at the Old Bailey.
Anne Wilderspin, Bowes's 73-year-old sister, paid tribute to her brother for his civic pride. It doesn't surprise her that he was trying to put out the blazes. He wouldn't have thought about the danger involved, as he would do it for the pride he had in his community. She believes him to be a hero, she added, as he paid his life to take action to stop things. The siblings hadn't seen each other in 30 years, but they were together in the hospital before he passed.