World of Sport

Young offenders riot over women’s tennis match

World of Sport

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Vera Zvonareva's Wimbledon quarter-final with Kim Clijsters at Wimbledon this year was an attractive match on paper - but not the type of contest you would expect to spark a five-hour riot.

However, that is exactly what happed at Cookham Wood Young Offenders Institution in Kent when wardens refused to let the prisoners watch the contest.

It led to the 32 inmates "going mad" and causing £10,000 worth of damage after television sets were switched off in their recreation room.

A prison source is quoted in the Daily Express as saying: "The group were all fired up by Wimbledon and the World Cup and wanted to watch as much sport as possible. When they were told that recreation break had ended and the TVs had to be switched off they went mad and started smashing the place up."

The prisoners smashed windows and threw rubble from the concrete walls at wardens for five hours until a specialist riot squad arrived to calm things down.

Charlie Akhurst, 18, of London, Reece Blackston, 18, of Gravesend, Kent, and an unnamed 17-year-old were charged with violent disorder over the incident and remain in custody.

Zvonareva won the match 3-6 6-4 6-2 and reached the final before going down to Serena Williams.

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