A 15-year-old girl from Wimbledon has become one of the youngest people to be convicted for ransacking Colliers Wood during last summer’s riots.

The girl, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, pleaded guilty to burglary after CCTV captured her at the Colliers Wood Tandem Centre's Mothercare store - which had £750,000 of goods stolen during the lootings on August 8, 2011.

The girl told Wimbledon Magistrates’ Court on Thursday, March 1, that she had not set out to join in the looting but, after drinking alcohol during the day with friends, got “caught up” in the moment.

She said: “I can’t even remember what I took. I left the shop and I realised what I did.

“Many things were going through my head. I left the stuff and went home.”

But magistrate Barbara Barnes said getting “caught up” was a poor excuse and said she would have given her a jail sentence had not been of previous good character.

She said: “I’m sure you understand that people who choose to get involved in this situation have been dealt with very severely quite rightly given the public’s reaction.”

The teenager was spared a prison sentence and instead given a 12-month referral order.

Under the terms of that order, she must complete 25 hours a week of supervised training, complete 20 hours “reparation” work in the shop itself and be subject to an evening curfew.

Mrs Barnes said more than £750,000 had been taken from Mothercare alone, but shops also burgled that night included PC World, Jessops, Sports Direct and JD Sports.

Last week Merton Police’s new borough commander, Detective Chief Superintendent Darren Williams, said 100 people in total had been arrested for the looting of the Tandem Centre.

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