James Goddard: Yellow-Vest Protestor Sentenced For Harassing Anna Soubry

The yellow vest protestor was given a suspended prison sentence and was banned from the area around parliament for five years.

Pro-Brexit campaigner James Goddard has been given a suspended prison sentence for harassing Remain-supporting MP Anna Soubry.

The self-styled ‘yellow vest’ protester was filmed hurling abuse at the former Conservative outside the Houses of Parliament in December and January, calling her a Nazi and a traitor

Goddard, 30, was sentenced to eight weeks’ imprisonment, suspended for a year, on Monday after pleading guilty to one charge using disorderly behaviour with intent to cause Soubry harassment, alarm or distress.

He was also handed a five-year restraining order banning him from contacting Soubry and told he cannot enter an area, including Parliament Square, College Green, the Palace of Westminster, Portcullis House and Downing Street, and told to carry out 200 hours of unpaid work.

Goddard was ordered to pay Soubry £200 in compensation, £215 in other court costs, as well as another £200 compensation to a Lithuanian police officer after admitting a separate racially aggravated public order offence towards him.

Senior district judge Emma Arbuthnot had already indicated he would not be sent to jail.

Goddard, of Altrincham was sentenced alongside 55-year-old Brian Phillips, of Kent.

Phillips was sentenced to four weeks’ imprisonment, suspended for a year, and was handed the same restraining order after pleading guilty to the charge relating to Soubry, a curfew and ordered to pay £200 in other court costs.

Lynette Woodrow, from Crown Prosecution Service London South, said the pair had crossed the line between legitimate protest and causing outright alarm and distress.

“They were not interested in a debate but set out to intimidate, antagonise and bully Anna Soubry,” she said.

“Goddard also used racist language to abuse a police officer. Acting towards anyone in this way is a serious matter but all the more so when it’s people carrying out their job serving the public.

“When MPs are targeted it is also an attack on the democratic process.”

Following the sentencing, Soubry tweeted she would be donating the £200 to the Jo Cox Foundation, a charity set up in tribute to the MP who was murdered in 2016 by a far right supporter.


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