Pro-Brexit yellow vest protester James Goddard has been found guilty of assaulting a photojournalist at a demonstration in Manchester.
During the hearing, as photographer Joel Goodman gave evidence in the witness box, Goddard surreptitiously held up a piece of paper baring the words ‘pussy coward leftist soy boy’.
Police officers were called to court to seize the piece of paper but District Judge Mark Hadfield chose not to treat the disruption as contempt of court.
Goddard, 29, who represented himself in court, was supported by around a dozen followers, three of whom were asked to leave court by the judge during the trial at Manchester Magistrates’ Court.
After hearing evidence from both parties the judge convicted Goddard of common assault by grabbing his victims camera on February 9.
He was was found not guilty of a public order offence of using threatening words or behaviour after telling Mr Goodman he would ‘take his head off his shoulders’.
Goddard told the court his words were a ‘common English idiom’.
He was fined £300 for the common assault, and ordered to pay £500 in prosecution costs, £50 compensation to Mr Goodman, and a £30 victim impact surcharge.
A two-year restraining order means he is now is banned from approaching Mr Goodman.
When entering his not guilty pleas in court in March, Goddard demanded reporters leave, calling one of them ‘scum’.
He said: ‘I don’t want scumbag journalists in here who’ll portray things in the wrong way.’
Goddard, of Timperley, Altrincham, refused to confirm his address, blaming the watching journalists.