Romford man convicted of robbing Malaysian student during London riots

Two men, including one from Romford, have been convicted of pretending to be Good Samaritans to steal from an injured Malaysian student during the London riots.

Mobile phone footage of Ashraf Rossli being attacked in Barking during last August’s rioting caused widespread outrage.

On Friday (March 2) a jury at Wood Green Crown Court convicted John Kafunda 22, of robbery and violent disorder.

Kafunda, of Eastwood Road, Ilford, was captured on camera putting his arm round Mr Rossli and pretending to protect him.

Reece Donovan, 24, of Cross Road, Romford, was caught on camera rifling through the accountancy student’s bag while the victim’s back was to him, and convicted of theft, violent disorder and later burgling a Tesco store.

A verdict on another count of robbery by Donovan is yet to be returned.

Both men will be sentenced on March 13 at Wood Green Crown Court.

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Speaking after the verdicts, Chief Superintendent Gary Buttercase, temporary borough commander at Barking and Dagenham, said: “I would like to commend Barking and Dagenham robbery squad for their tenacity, professionalism and detective ability.

“I have met Mr Rossli and he is a man of humility and dignity and a tremendous credit to his country and I am particularly pleased that we have managed to get justice for the appalling attack he suffered and the subsequent theft that has attracted derision from across the world.”

He added: “I would also like to thank the many witnesses in this case who have shown fantastic public spirit in coming forward and assisting my officers. I wish Mr Rossli an enjoyable stay in London for the rest of his studies and thank him for his co-operation in this matter.”