Amy Weston captured image of woman leaping from a burning building in Croydon used on five national front pages
The photographer who took the shot of a woman leaping from a burning building in Croydon used on five national newspaper front pages on Tuesday has told of the mayhem as she captured one of the most dramatic shot of the riots.
Amy Weston had been told there were fires in the Church Street area of Croydon near Surrey Street market and was driving to the scene when she heard screaming by some shops that were in flames.
"There were six or seven people screaming and crying outside, and they looked like they lived at the flats that were burning. The flats were above small independent shops," said Weston, who works for the London-based Wenn picture agency.
"A man in a white shirt was screaming that a girl was at the window and that she was ready to jump. He ran towards her but riot police had appeared and pulled him back, and they went to her instead.
"As soon as she dropped, the crowds pushed back and there was no way to see what happened to her. I remember hearing people screaming that there were more people in the building. The crowds started getting angry with each other, with one group blaming another group for starting the fire.
"There were warnings of gas cylinders being fired into the crowd from riot police so I got out of there. I couldn't get to my car so I had to walk, wrapping my camera in my clothes to avoid being mugged."
Weston's photograph will go down as one of the iconic moments of the London riots, appearing on the front page of the final editions of the Guardian, Times, Sun, Daily Mirror and Daily Telegraph and the inside pages of all other national titles.
Wenn said on Tuesday it already had emails in from members of the public asking had it altered the picture using Photoshop.
The photograph was a relatively unusual hard news scoop for the London picture agency, which specialises in showbiz.
"We've been going for 25 years but whenever there's a major event we do tend to cover them," said the Wenn chief executive, Lloyd Beiny.
Another of his photographers, in Birmingham, was mugged by six men, Beiny added. "They took her phone, but she is safe now," he said.