Mom Rioter Son – A photograph of Cassius Taylor, 17, wearing a grey hood pulled over a red baseball cap being confronted by riot police in Wolverhampton city centre, in England, was seen by his horrified mom. Carol Rankin took her son into the police station and handed him off to the officers.
Rankin was praised by magistrates as they jailed the teenager for his part in the violence that took place during nationwide rioting on August 9.
Cassius Taylor was given a six month prison sentence for his part in the riots. Magistrates, who lifted a ban on identifying the youngster, also heard how Ms Rankin packed a bag of evidence for police including the hooded top and cap he was wearing at the time.
As Taylor was locked up for six months at Wolverhampton Youth Court yesterday, bench chairman Paul Eckett told her, “This court commends you for your actions. It must be one of the hardest things a mother has ever had to do. I can only imagine how hard this is for you today. We have heard he is a good lad, but he did what he did.”
Taylor, who was 16 at the time of the incident, was captured on CCTV confronting officers in riot gear in the city before crouching to pick up a missile and hurling it at police just yards away. He admitted violent disorder following the chaos on August 9 that saw shops smashed up and looted in ugly scenes replicated across the country.
Pushpa Sheemar, prosecuting, told the court Taylor had been among hundreds of people seen kicking and punching out at police during some of the worst scenes of the unrest. The court was also shown CCTV of Taylor surging towards police five times.
Addressing Taylor, Mr Eckett said, “Doing this does not please us. But violent disorder is one of the most serious offences which can be dealt with in a youth court. You were at the forefront of serious violence. We counted five surges towards police and at any point you could have walked away but you didn’t.”
Ekett added, “You showed no concern for the welfare of the police or the public, and to them your actions must have been terrifying in the extreme. This was naked, controlled violence.”
Taylor, apologized to the court, saying “I made a mistake. I do feel sorry for people whose businesses were attacked.” His mother added, “He’s normally very intelligent, very articulate. I was very surprised he had actually done this.”
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