The sister of a man who died during the London riots has called for rioters to find ‘real purpose’ in their lives.
Anne Wilderspin, 73, of Matlock Bath, that she was proud of her brother Richard Mannington Bowes’ actions.
He was attacked as he tried to stamp out a fire in Ealing on Monday, August 8. He died from head injuries three days later.
Anne paid tribute to her brother, who gave her away at her wedding to her husband Michael.
She said: “He had a very great sense of civic pride and he was prepared to do things to stand up against anything he didn’t feel happy with.
“I wasn’t surprised when I found out he’d been trying to put the fires out. I’m very proud of him.”
Anne only discovered her brother had been attacked when the police were finally able to identify him on Thursday, August 11.
Anne and Michael travelled down to London and were able to spend a few moments with her brother before he passed away from his injuries on Thursday night.
She said: “When we were notified it was all a bit unreal. We were grateful there was this opportunity of being with him, even though he was too badly injured to do anything. I was glad we made contact before he died.”
Anne paid tribute to the people who had helped her and her husband since her brother’s death.
She said: “The way the police dealt with us was great, the undertakers offered their services for free, the council have set up a fund in his name and flew a flag at half mast, it was amazing. I’d even heard there may be a road named after him. I’m sure Richard would be absolutely amazed.
She added: “It’s terrible thinking of all those young people who’ve got police records that will blight them for the rest of their lives. I feel so sad they’ve lost their way in life. They haven’t got a real purpose in living.
“I’d like to know that they realise what was done was wrong. Shoving them in jail won’t do an awful lot if they don’t know the difference between right and wrong. It will happen again.”
Mr Bowes’ funeral is due to take place at St John’s Church in Ealing next month.
A 16-year-old boy has appeared in court charged with killing Mr Bowes.
The youth, who cannot be named for legal reasons, appeared at Croydon Magistrates Court on Tuesday, August 16.
He appeared alongside his mother, who has been charged with perverting the course of justice.