Latymer Schoolboy Spared Jail After Tuition Fees Riot

No custodial sentence but ordered to pay £1000 fine for damages

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A Latymer schoolboy from Acton who helped vandalise a police riot van during a protest against tuition fees has been spared a jail sentence.

Oscar Laurie von Massenbach, from Perryn Road in Acton walked out of court after admitting criminal damage and being ordered to pay £1,000 to the Metropolitan Police.

Von Massenbach, who attends Latymer Upper School in Hammersmith, smashed the vehicle's windscreen after jumping on its roof.

Images of demonstrators smashing up the abandoned police van in Whitehall, covering it in graffiti and looting it were beamed around the world on November 24.

His mother Camilla told the Evening Standard: "We are relieved it is all over, it has taken a long time to sort out. We want to put it behind us."

Von Massenbach's solicitor had asked for yesterday's court hearing to be put off until after his client's A-level exams - due to start next week - but the request was rejected by the judge.

Following his arrest, the sixth former told police that he "hoped his parents didn't see him on Sky News", the City of Westminster magistrates' court heard.

His lawyer said that he had previously been predicted three A grades but his arrest had had a "significant" impact on his life and he was now expecting worse results.

The court heard Von Massenbach still planned to study for a degree in politics and philosophy if he is accepted by a university. Edmund Hall, prosecuting, said the teenager had been seen "stamping" on the riot van's roof "for a considerable amount of time" during the protest.

He said: "It appears he was one of two people who first got up, a number of other protesters followed his example.

"I understand the damage to the vehicle was in the region of £4,000."

Passing sentence, District Judge Daphne Wickham said the teenager had got "completely carried away". She added: "There you are, broadcast to the world, jumping up and down and smashing up a police carrier.

"If you can't go to these events without committing offences then please don't go."

As well as being ordered to pay £1,000 to the Met, Von Massenbach must pay £85 in court costs.

He will also be subject to a conditional discharge and would face a fresh punishment for the offence if he breaks the law again within 12 months.

11 May 2011