Saturday, August 18, 2018

A Moment of Madness

by Anastasia (writer), London, May 29, 2012

Credit: londonalcatraz
The Poor Little Rich Girl

A millionaire’s daughter was recently jailed for her part in last year’s London riots.

In the wake of the riots in London in August of last year I wrote two articles for Broowaha readers, correcting some highly inaccurate and politically motivated misinformation being peddled here about ‘deprivation’ and government ‘cuts.’ (Shopping with Violence, August 9; England Shamed, August 14). The essential point was that the disorders had nothing to do with poverty or non-existent cuts and everything to do with greed. They also had much to do with the adrenalin rush that some obtain from violence as violence.

In England Shamed I touched on the tale of two cities, the tale of two Londoners. One was an old Jewish barber in his late eighties whose one-man business was trashed by a gang of thugs. The other was a student by the name of Laura Johnson. Of her I wrote;

My second is Laura Johnson, a 19-year-old student. She does not live in Tottenham; oh, no, she is the daughter of a millionaire whose gated home, complete with tennis court, is in opulent Orpington. What on earth is the relevance of this spoiled little rich girl to the story of Biber the Barber? Simply this: he is a victim of a riot; she is an alleged rioter. She has been charged with driving away in a car containing stolen televisions, mobile phones, cigarettes and alcohol, all at an estimated value of $8000. Is if fair to ask if daddy was keeping her short in her allowance? Was she a victim of the government’s heartless cuts? Was she outraged by the condition of the hungry proletariat? I’ll leave you to make up your own minds.

Johnson, a student at Exeter University and a former school prefect, was later charged with burglary and handling stolen goods, having chauffeured several accomplices around that night for a spot of mayhem and rapine.

Last Friday, now aged twenty, her trial concluded at London’s Inner Crown Court. She was sentenced to two years imprisonment, after her defence that she had acted under ‘duress’ was rejected. Hardly surprising, when one considers her ‘duress’ was such that when her car was intercepted by the police she put her foot on the accelerator, despite the fact that an officer was standing in front of the vehicle.

In passing sentence, Judge Patricia Lees said that “Your actions added to the overall lawlessness that threatened to overwhelm the forces of law and order…You were pivotal to this planned criminal enterprise. You went out willingly that night knowing what you were about to get involved in.”

It was a moment of madness, her lawyer said. Yes, a moment of madness in a summer of madness; a moment of madness in which she drove round her friend, one Emmanuel Okubote, a convicted cocaine dealer and thief, and others dressed in mufti, robbing stores and robbing other looters at knife point. Mummy and daddy were in court to see the aftermath, looking down from the public gallery, to share in their daughter’s shame. Except I'm not sure that there was any shame, not after she left the dock grinning

I do hope people will remember Laura and her moment of madness whenever some clot or other tries to seduce them with a lot of meretricious sociologese about crime and deprivation.

About the Writer

Anastasia is a writer for BrooWaha. For more information, visit the writer's website.
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5 comments on A Moment of Madness

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By Uttam Gill on May 30, 2012 at 12:04 am

Anastasia I am just wondering how kids are vulnerable in this environment...Blaming the environment is not the end of the story...Laura being a daughter of millionaire could get into this act, is something to do with dysfunctional families...whether some body is millionaire or not, as I gather the kids of dysfunctional families are more susceptible to undue influence over them and that’s how they act irrationally.

Laura's is rightly punished, so as others... And if Laura left the dock grinning, then that surely says that she has no remorse of what she had done.

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By ColonialBoy on May 30, 2012 at 02:22 pm

Ana, I know that laws are different over here in the Colonies, but only two years punishment for multiple counts of Grand Larceny, Conspiracy to Commit a Felony, and Assault w/a deadly weapon against an Officer of the Law? Just spitting on the officer, or pointing your fingers at them like you were holding a gun could get you that much time in jail, much less the attempted murder of a police officer!

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By Anastasia on May 31, 2012 at 05:54 pm

Yes, you are right, Uttam - dysfunctional families are clearly not always poor families.

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By Anastasia on May 31, 2012 at 05:56 pm

CB, it gets worse. I can guarantee you that she will be out in a year at the most for 'good behaviour.'

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By umashankar on October 27, 2012 at 11:46 pm

Tell me why it reminds me of Ophelia!

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