London Road looks like a tornado swept up it. Firefighters were still spraying water more than 12 hours after the fires were set.
London Road looks like a tornado swept up it. Firefighters were still spraying water more than 12 hours after the fires were set. GeorgeRexTA

Mum concerned for son in riots

AS LONDON descended into anarchy, Emerald mother Fay Saunderson held her breath and waited.

She kept nervously glancing at her mobile, waiting for that one precious text message that would hopefully tell her good news.

Thankfully, the message came from her 23-year-old son Daniel Hoare, letting her know he had made it home to his Clapham unit, but the situation was still intense.

An arrest was made outside his home as part of the riots, and his workplace had been smashed into disrepair, but he was alive and safe.

“I told him not to be a hero and if he was told to get out, to get out,” Fay said.

“The rioters were kicking in glass windows, stealing goods and menacing shop owners which terrified me.”

With her mind replaying worst-case senarios, Fay was too afraid to sleep in case Daniel called or something happened.

“It’s pretty daunting for a parent,” she said.

“He lives in an area that was effected pretty badly but he’d gotten through the worst of it.

“The shops are still boarding up their windows but Daniel is saying things are getting back to normal.”

A testament to Australia’s sense of mateship, Daniel has been in regular contact with other Emerald residents either working or travelling in the UK.

He said everyone he had contact with was okay and just waiting for things to get back to normal.

International media reports said the riots were sparked after police fatally shot a London man, but others have said the people involved in the looting and fire-bombings had no concept of what was happening.

Four people have been killed since the terror broke out on Tuesday.

“It’s just a silly, senseless act of criminality,” Fay said.

“People involved don’t know what’s happening and are just going with it.”

But despite the terrifying past few days, Daniel recommended people still travel.

And how does an Emerald local living on the other side of the world celebrate surviving the worst riots London has seen in decades?

“He sent me a message about two hours ago – he was at a prestige pub and Prince Harry was there,” Fay said yesterday morning.

“That’s just the kind of kid he is.”

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