Rich student guilty of London riot spree

April 6, 2012 at 2:08 AM
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LONDON, April 6 (UPI) -- The daughter of two millionaire marketing entrepreneurs was convicted Thursday of burglary and handling stolen goods during last summer's London riots.

Laura Johnson, 20, a student at Exeter University, was warned she faces a prison term when she is sentenced May 3, The Daily Telegraph reported. A 17-year-old business student who was tried with her was also convicted.

"You have been convicted of serious offenses and those offenses are aggravated by the fact that they were committed within the time-frame of the civil unrest last summer in London," Judge Patricia Lee said. The judge referred to "this spree of burglaries and handling goods that you both took a willing part in" and said the crimes "will attract most certainly in my mind ... the likelihood of a custodial sentence."

Defense lawyers argued that Johnson drove a friend, Emmanuel Okubote, 20, a convicted crack dealer, around London because she was frightened and had been threatened. But photos of Johnson laughing at the wheel of her Smart Car apparently convinced jurors otherwise.

Johnson's parents, who live in Orpington, Kent, run a marketing business.

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