Leaping woman saw House of Reeves set alight by looter
9:55am Thursday 23rd February 2012 in Local news
The woman who was captured leaping from a burning building during the Croydon riots filmed the moment a man set light to a furniture store, a court heard yesterday.
The image of Monika Konczyk jumping from her flat became one of the iconic pictures of the unrest in August last year.
She lived opposite the historic House of Reeves furniture store, which was left a charred ruin after being set ablaze.
At the Old Bailey on Wednesday, a jury at the trial of Gordon Thompson the man accused of starting that fire, heard how Miss Konczyk had heard glass smashing on the night of the riots.
She saw hundreds of youths running along the road carrying looted goods and then saw a group attacking the front of the 150-year-old furniture store.
The court heard how while standing in the entrance to her building she saw a man run into a shop and place something square on a piece of furniture, and began filming the incident on her phone.
The jury was told how she watched as fire engulfed the premises before going back inside, terrified.
Prosecuting, Oliver Glasgow said: “Her sister advised her to leave her building but when she went downstairs she realised the building she lived in was on fire and she had become trapped.
“Eventually she had no option but to climb out of her window, climb down onto the parasol of the shop below and jump into the arms of the police officers who were stood beneath her.”
Miss Konczyk is due to give evidence at the Old Bailey tomorrow.
Mr Thomson denies arson with intent to endanger life, burglary and violent disorder.
He has previously pleaded guilty to burglary from Iceland and House of Fraser.