CROYDON RIOTS: My daughter's 10 seconds of madness
THE father of a woman who picked up a television in the Croydon riots has described her "ten-second moment of madness".
Laura Foley – whose older sister Lisa, 28, is an officer with the Metropolitan Police – lifted up the flat-screen TV outside Argos in Church Street as the store was being looted.
But she put it down seconds later after a work colleague asked what she was doing – bringing the 22-year-old to her senses.
Her case has made national headlines because she is a policewoman's sister and her mum Michelle is an emergency call operator.
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On Tuesday, Laura was sentenced to 100 hours unpaid work at Inner London Crown Court and ordered to pay £500 costs.
Speaking exclusively to the Advertiser after the hearing, her father Danny Foley, landlord of The White Horse pub in Selhurst Road, launched a staunch defence of his daughter.
Mr Foley said: "Laura was not out trashing property. She wasn't part of the scum that night.
"She didn't take anything, she put it back down when her colleague shouted to her 'what are you doing?' Laura came to her senses.
"We've all been upset and hurt with the impact it's had on Lisa."
Door supervisor Laura had been called in to work at Tiger Tiger and Yates's that night.
After clearing the premises as the riots escalated, Laura walked back with colleagues and was heading to a car park for a lift home.
During that walk Laura and her group even rescued a woman and her child who were surrounded by rioters and were trying to get to safety.
But shortly afterwards she lifted and then put down the television, in an act she now bitterly regrets.
Mr Foley said: "She's has put this down as the worst moment of her life.
"Laura is very hurt inside as to the trouble she's brought on her sister and mother.
"Laura has a very long way to go to make up the embarrassment her sister has had to endure.
"My mum received a phone call from an old friend who read the articles in the paper about Laura.
"The woman said she was disgusted (Laura) had been involved in the riots, she didn't want anything more to do with my mum and put the phone down on her.
"My mum was really upset. She was going to stand by her granddaughter because she knew the facts of the case. But we couldn't discuss the facts with people.
"I suffered a backlash on the Palace forums as well with people saying 'I'm never drinking in that man's pub again'."
Mr Foley explained Laura, who is due to give birth in April, was placed under a curfew – effectively lasting five months – at the pub between 9pm and 7am.
Laura was charged with burglary with intent, but this was lessened to a charge of theft, which she admitted. He added: "I don't think she got off lightly with what she did."
Judge Roger Chapple said: "It is often the case that these crimes are said to happen in a moment of madness.
"Rarely though is that the case when that moment lasts for minutes or hours, but in this case it is an apt description as it lasted for a matter of seconds, before your colleagues put you on the right track."