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Jail for man who admitted arson and theft offences linked to Bristol riot

A custody photo of Alexander Papadopoulos
Alexander Papadopoulos

A 28-year-old man has been jailed for six months for helping to set a mobile police station on fire during the Bristol riot.

Alexander Papadopoulos, of Whitehall in Bristol, was sentenced at Bristol Crown Court yesterday (Monday 23 January), after admitting charges of arson and theft.

Footage gathered during the investigation into the riot of Sunday 21 March 2021, showed him helping to set fire to a mobile police station, including pushing a chair into it to help accelerate the flames.


The offence of theft by finding relates to the theft of a police helmet, which he was seen on camera wearing.

Judge Patrick sentenced him to six months in prison for the arson, and an additional seven days for the theft, to run concurrently.

On sentencing, the judge said his actions had added to the fire which wrecked the mobile police station, and also said he’d taken the police helmet as “a trophy”.

A total of 27 people now have now been jailed for offences committed during the riot, receiving a combined prison sentence of 85 years and seven months.

Detective Superintendent James Riccio said: “The fire this defendant was involved in stoking and accelerating caused catastrophic damage to a community mobile police station and was one of the more significant criminal acts committed on that shameful night of violence.

“The weight of evidence, particularly visual evidence, gathered during this investigation has directly led to this admission of guilt and subsequent prison sentence, which we welcome.”

We’d like to remind all concerned that criminal proceedings relating to the events of Sunday 21 March are ongoing against other defendants and that they have a right to a fair trial.

It is extremely important there should be no reporting, commentary or sharing of information online which could in any way prejudice these proceedings.