An arsonist has demanded the weekly newspaper which helped put him behind bars pays him to tell “his side of the story”.
Gordon Thompson approached the Croydon Advertiser at the weekend to say he wanted to “clear his name” after a front page appeal brought him to justice when he torched a furniture store during the 2011 riots.
But Thompson, who was sentenced to eleven-an-a-half years in jail but now appears to have been released, then went on to demand payment for an interview.
The Advertiser refused his request, which was made via a phone call through the Facebook website in which Thompson described himself as “infamous”.
On 8 August 2011 he had been caught on camera looting by reporter Gareth Davies and a freelance photographer, and transpired that he was in fact the arsonist who had destroyed the family-run House of Reeves store.
The Ministry Of Justice said it would not comment on whether Thompson had now been released from prison but the convict told the Advertiser he was a “free man”.
During the call, the Advertiser reported Thompson said: “I want to give my side of things and the whole dynamics is like everyone put the blame on me for the Croydon riots and I’ve got my side of the story.
“I’m not doing this for free am I. If no one ain’t going to put money on the table for my story, my interview, it’s not worth it is it?”
He added: “I’m not going to give you my side of events, for the Croydon Advertiser, for free. You want my story, you are coming to me. Remember I’m infamous, they put me as an infamous person, I’m always on telly, on Criminals Caught On Camera.
“The people of Croydon are upset but the dynamics of what happened, things have to happen for the next generation to come forward. It’s history repeating itself in the making. The credit crunch, the whole world was upset, it wasn’t just London that had the riots, and it was worldwide, over Britain.”