The managing director of a Jewish-owned DIY shop in Tottenham has expressed his disgust at the riots on his community over the last few days.
Derek Lewis was in Bournemouth for the weekend when he was woken just before 4am on Sunday morning because the alarm in H Glickman Ltd was going off.
He returned to find the place ransacked, with paint across the floor, glass smashed and the grills on the front door ripped up.
Looters had also stolen tools from the store, including sledgehammers – "things they could use in other places", said Mr Lewis.
The shop is an institution in the area, opened by Gerald Glickman's parents in 1932, when they moved to Tottenham from the East End, on the site of an ironmonger established in 1880.
Mr Glickman remains a part-owner of the store to this day, although he is now in his eighties and retired. The remainder is owned by Mr Lewis, who began working for Mr Glickman as a teenager in the 1960s.
"It’s a total disgrace it’s even happening," he said. "When I got the call I turned on the television and I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. I’ve lived here my whole life and never seen anything like this – this is worse than the Broadwater Farm riots.
"It’s disgusting. I just can’t get my head around it and what I think about it isn’t printable. It’s got nothing to do with what happened last Thursday either."
Mr Lewis, who said that many of his friends in the area had seen their businesses destroyed and now had “nothing left”, said the clean-up of the shop would continue for days, but vowed not to close. "I won’t give in."
He said that people from all walks of life were coming in to express their sadness, and added that the situation had left him feeling utterly frustrated.
"They are tearing up their own community," he added. "It’s tragic."