A 29-year-old Timperley man was today found guilty of attacking a Manchester Evening News photographer during a so-called ‘yellow vest’ protest earlier this year.
After a day-long hearing at Manchester Magistrates’ Court today, James Goddard, of Kelvindale Drive, was found guilty of common assault against Joel Goodman.
The incident took place in Manchester city centre on February 9th.
Goddard, who represented himself in court, was supported by around a dozen supporters, three of whom were asked to leave court by District Judge Mark Hadfield.
During the hearing, as Goodman began giving evidence in the witness box, Goddard held up a piece of paper which contained the words “Pussy coward leftist soy boy”.
Police officers seized the piece of paper, and the judge said there had potentially been an offence committed under the Contempt of Court Act.
Goddard replied: “Are you being serious?”, and the judge said: “Of course I’m being serious,” but chose not to pursue the matter as a contempt of court issue.
Goddard was found not guilty of a public order offence of using threatening words or behaviour to cause his victim to fear “immediate” violence after he told Goodman he would “take his head off his shoulders”, with Goddard claiming it was a “common English idiom”.
He was fined £300 for the assault and ordered to pay £500 in prosecution costs, £50 compensation to Mr Goodman, and a £30 victim impact surcharge. He was also banned from approaching Goodman for two years.