A teenager from Worsley who said he joined the riots to “give a voice to the underclass” was sentenced to two years and four months in a young offenders – Represented by Rob Kearney

Company director’s son Michael Fitzpatrick, 18, claimed he took part in looting and theft because he “doesn’t think it’s fair that he works but can’t afford the things he wants”, Manchester Crown Court was told.

The teenager was “frog-marched” to a police station after his parents saw photos of him looting.

In mitigation, Rob Kearney said Fitzpatrick had “delivered some thoughts which he should have kept to himself”.
“He was unrepresented when he said those things to police, he had never been in trouble before and he was unrealistic in his answers.”

Mr Kearney said the “intelligent” defendant, of Greenleach Lane, Salford, had been working for his father’s company until returning to further education in September when he was going to study music technology.

“He’s 18 and he’s a foolish young man and he is going to pay a high price today,” the barrister added before saying Fitzpatrick’s parents, who were present in court, were “dumbfounded” by his actions.

Judge Gilbart said it was “heartbreaking to see somebody with so much promise throw himself to the rocks”.
He added: “One gets used, as a Crown Court judge, to sad cases and I don’t think I have dealt with a sadder case in a long time.

“You come from a family of the utmost decency. They were horrified when they realised what happened, as I think, were you.”

Jailing Fitzpatrick for two years and four months, the judge added: “I have to pass a deterrent sentence on those who took part in the disorder and went from store to store seeing what they could take as the city lay open and defenceless, protected only by those police, emergency services and shopkeepers who did what they could.”

Fitzpatrick had pleaded guilty to three counts of burglary and one count of handling stolen goods

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