NEWS
19/03/2019 10:41 GMT | Updated 19/03/2019 11:05 GMT

James Goddard Pleads Not Guilty To Harassment Of Tory MP Anna Soubry

The 29-year-old "yellow vest" protester is accused of two counts of harassment.

The self-styled “yellow vest” protester James Goddard has pleaded not guilty to calling MP Anna Soubry a “Nazi” and a “traitor” outside parliament.

Goddard, 29, also denied one count of racially aggravated harassment, and another count of harassment, when he appeared at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday.

Goddard, wearing a white T-shirt featuring a British flag, used his mobile phone in the dock as he waited for the case to begin.

When told to stand for the charges to be read, Goddard asked “Why?” and refused to give his address due to the “vultures” in court.

He is expected to rely on a defence of “fair comment”. Addressing judge Kenneth Grant from the dock, Goddard said: “It’s not illegal to heckle an MP. All of this is wrong.”

PA Wire/PA Images
Goddard grinned as he arrived at court on Tuesday.

Grant rose and temporarily adjourned the case 15 minutes into the hearing after several members of the public gallery began shouting about Brexit, made derogatory comments about Anna Soubry, and chanted “Shame on you”.

Over the Christmas and New Year periods, Westminster was plagued by a handful of demonstrations, in which some participants shouted abuse at politicians and journalists, sparking safety concerns and prompting calls for police intervention

 

In one particular incident, Soubry was repeatedly called a “Nazi” during a live BBC News broadcast, allegedly by Goddard. 

The incident led to beefed-up police patrols around Westminster and a prompted a debate over the safety of MPs and journalists.