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Primary-school worker admits looting charge

A primary-school teaching assistant has admitted involvement in the looting that hit London this week after being caught in an electronics shop during the riots.

Alexis Bailey, who works full-time as a learning mentor at Stockwell Primary School, was one of more than 750 people arrested over four nights of arson and destruction across the capital.

He joined a mob looting Richer Sounds in Croydon in the early hours of Monday, but gave himself up to police when he was caught inside the shop.

Mr Bailey, 31, pleaded guilty to burglary with intent to steal when he appeared at Highbury Corner magistrates' court on Wednesday.

Prosecutor Abiodun Kadri told the court: "Alexis Bailey was seen at the back of the shop and he came downstairs and gave himself up. He wasn't seen to take anything but only because he didn't have the opportunity to do so."

He was released on bail with a warning that his case would be sent to the Crown Court, which has stronger sentencing powers, because of the seriousness of the crime.

No one from the school was available for comment.

Hermine Caesar, a family friend and neighbour in Battersea, southwest London, said Mr Bailey was raised in a strict Jehovah's Witness household.

"I have known him since he was little," she said. "He is a quiet, pleasant boy; his mother couldn't wish for a better son. He must have got caught up in the spur of the moment without thinking of the consequences."

A Lambeth Council spokesperson said: "In the event that any of our staff are convicted of criminal acts, we have robust internal processes in place to ensure that we deal with them in accordance with employment law."

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