Magistrates courts stay open all night as system struggles to keep up

By Ian Dunt

Magistrates courts are planning to stay open all night as they struggle to process hundreds of youths following riots across England.

Westminster, Highbury and Camberwell magistrates courts all said they would stay open all night as the first cases passed through.

With cells packed to breaking point, some solicitors were unable to see their clients last night.

Media sources reported that no-one had yet been granted bail in Croydon court, as the authorities tried to take a firm approach to the ongoing disorder.

"I have covered magistrates courts for many years and I have never seen a judge been so harsh as today," one reporter tweeted.

In scenes which contrasted sharply with the violence of recernt days, one man in the court was reported to have shouted "I love you" to his mother as he was remanded in custody for looting a sports bag.

One reporter said that a court room in Croydon had to be cleared, however, after the 29-year-old defendant sacked his brief and began shouting at the judge.