May 18 2013 Latest news:
by Luke Jacobs
Wednesday, May 23, 2012
Nine teenagers took part in a brawl at Westfield Stratford City in which chairs were thrown around the food court.
The fight took place while the centre was packed with shoppers shortly after 9pm on December 27 last year.
A trial, which initially involved a total of 16 youths at East London Youth Court, also heard one 16-year-old boy was stabbed in the leg during the argument.
Two boys aged 17 were given a three-month curfew together with a one-year supervision and rehabilitation order, and a 12-month referall order respectively after pleading guilty to violent disorder.
A 16-year-old boy was handed an Asbo and sentenced to a 12 month detention and training order after the court heard he returned to the scene of the incident with 22 people after the initial argument.
Two 16-year-old boys were given 12 month referral orders, and another 16-year-old was handed a 10 month referral order.
The four youths also admitted violent disorder.
Another 17-year-old youth, who pleaded not guilty to violent disorder, was banned from Westfield for one year and sentenced to a one year rehabilitation and supervision order
The two remaining defendants, aged 16 and 17, who also denied the offence, were bailed to return for sentencing on May 31.
District Judge Simms heard the fight started after one of the defendants, 16, was involved in an argument with a group of four people in the food court on the ground floor of the centre.
He then left the centre with an unidentified friend before returning with the 22 males, who entered Westfield from the direction of Stratford bus station.
He beckoned for them to approach a 17-year-old boy and his three friends. Another 17-year-old, from the larger group, went over and pulled the hat off one of the boys from the smaller group.
A fight then ensued before one boy was stabbed in the leg. The groups then separated and left the centre.
After an investigation into the disorder, a large number of the group was identified, arrested and charged on February 8 and 9.
The trial concluded on May 4. A 14-year-old boy, three 16-year-olds and two boys, aged 17, were cleared of violent disorder.
Judge Simms also discharged one 16-year-old during the trial.
Met Police Det Ch Insp Kevin Baldwin, based at Stratford, said, “We worked closely with Westfield to secure the CCTV and witness evidence that led to the arrest and prosecution of these individuals.
“We will not tolerate this behaviour and these convictions demonstrate our commitment to making Newham a safe place”