LONDON’S prosecutor-in-chief Alison Saunders says “it was actually really exciting” when she was laying down the law on suspects connected to last summer’s riots.

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“The first night we had overnight courts [during the riots],” said Saunders, head of the Crown Prosecution Service in London.

“It was actually really exciting” she told The Guardian.

“I hadn’t been in court prosecuting for seven years but it’s a bit like riding a bike; you don’t forget.”

Once back in the saddle, Saunders has been keen to keep that prosecutor buzz going strong.

“We are still running at the same pace that we have been since the disorder last year,” she said.

“There is something to be learned there about speedy justice… getting people to court very quickly, while it was all still fresh in everyone’s mind, with the evidence, and seeing how many people pleaded guilty.

“There is none of this playing the system.”

The reference to “speedy justice” is controversial as there is data from around the country that shows cases rushed through the courts have resulted in wildly inconsistent sentences.

Saunders denies that punishments for those caught up in the riots have been too harsh, despite evidence that sentences have been between 25-40% higher than for similar offences committed at other times.

Two people in Cheshire were even sent down for four years for starting a Facebook group encouraging the riots.

“People were saying the sentences were outside the guidelines [but] they weren’t,” said Saunders.

“When you look at them, you can take in aggravating features. This was sheer lawlessness on a large scale. The prosecutions were absolutely right.”