London riots: Economics whizz Chinne Menakaya attacked Havering jewellers

A graduate with a first class degree in economics was among a group jailed for trying to loot a Havering councillor’s jewellers during the London riots last year.

Chinne Menakaya was one of nine who attempted to break in to Cllr Jeff Tucker’s Rainham Goldmine.

Economics and business graduate Menakaya received a BlackBerry mobile phone message saying that the area was unlikely to be protected by police with the other disturbances that were going on and the gang, from Grays, Essex, headed to Rainham.

The eight men and one woman dressed in dark clothing and balaclavas, armed themselves with bricks, and attempted to smash their way into the Upminster Road South shop.

They didn’t even pause when Cllr Tucker told them to stop. But the gang gave up when the reinforced windows would not break.

As they drove away one of the group decided to attack and rob two innocent passers-by, beating one unconscious, for “items that were almost of no value,” Wood Green Crown Court heard.

Menakaya, who was of previous good character, pleaded not guilty to attempted burglary but was convicted last week along with five others.

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Three of the gang had admitted the charge.

Sentencing Menakaya at Wood Green Crown Court, Judge Carr said: “This was the third night of rioting.

“Anybody who went out knew exactly what they were injecting themselves in and the devastation that was being caused.

“The BlackBerry messaging shows this was arranged and planned in advance.

“I have no doubt that if the windows had not been reinforced that jewellers would have been looted.”

Collins Ilekhuoba, 24, was jailed for five years after also being convicted of the two robberies in which mobile phones were stolen.

John Ajidahun, 22, was jailed for three years and three months, while Esiri Sama, 26, and Boris Ladjouan, 21, were each locked up for three and a half years.

Michael Madubunyi, 28, was sentenced to three years while Matthew Aboderin, 19, got two and a half years. Eighteen year-old Solomon Aloa, was jailed for two years.

Female gang member Toni Collins, 20, was given a suspended 12-month sentence and ordered to carry out 200 hours of unpaid work.