Yellow Vest activist James Goddard guilty of assaulting photographer

Yellow Vest activist James Goddard guilty of assaulting photographer

yellow vest protester James Goddard

Yellow vest activist James Goddard has been convicted of assaulting a photographer (Picture: PA)

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.

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? Licensed to London News Pictures . 09/02/2019. Manchester , UK . JAMES GODDARD (wearing a Kim Jong Un shirt) live streams video using his mobile phone as he leads a " Yellow Vest " protest in Manchester City Centre . The yellow vest concept has been adopted from French demonstrators by some British groups in support of Brexit , Donald Trump and former EDL leader Stephen Yaxley-Lennon - aka Tommy Robinson . A similar demonstration in the city in January was ridiculed after protesters were kettled by police in front of a branch of Greggs the Baker . Photo credit : Joel Goodman/LNP

Goddard, 29, said telling Mr Goodman he would ‘take his head off his shoulders’ was a ‘common English idiom’ (Picture: Joel Goodman/LNP)

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.

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