Bumped into Ealing Council leader Julian Bell yesterday who had interrupted his attendance at the Labour party conference to dash back for the funeral of Richard Mannington Bowes the 68 year old who met his death after the night of looting/ “rioting” in Ealing on 8th Aug. He’s blogged it here. The Ealing Gazette carries the story here and Ealing Today here.

Back in August we were told that the prison population was rising by 100 a day in the wake of post-riot related 24 hour court hearings/ showtrials etc. There have been various analyses of whodunnit but presumably these are changing everyday. When the pal I was with asked Julian if setences were a bit harsh he replied that doubtless some cases would end up in the appeal courts but that all the violence that had gone on was inseperable from the death that occurred. Ed Miliband also said in his Q and A at Labour’s conference that exemplary sentences can have a part to play in sending out a clear message of condemnation. On the chain of causation point, defence lawyers meanwhile have claimed that the courts are treating some offenders as riot cases, even though their crimes were committed miles away from the scene of any disorder.

In the meantime the message the Mayor (that’s councillor John Gallagher of Ealing not Boris) emailed round yesterday expressed deepest sympathy to the family of Manningham Bowes ending by expressing that the tragic incident should never be repeated – something that everyone can agree with.