Brexit activist James Goddard escapes immediate prison term after harassing Remain MP Anna Soubry

Right-wing ‘yellow vest’ campaigner handed suspended sentence and banned from area around parliament

Jane Dalton
Monday 22 July 2019 20:07
James Goddard threatens to 'drop some truth bombs' as he arrives at court ahead of sentencing

A right-wing pro-Brexit campaigner has been handed a suspended prison sentence and been banned from an area around parliament for hurling abuse at Remain-supporting MP Anna Soubry.

James Goddard, a self-styled yellow-vest protester, was filmed calling the former Conservative a “Nazi” and a “traitor” at Westminster in December and January.

He was sentenced to eight weeks’ imprisonment, suspended for a year, after admitting using disorderly behaviour with intent to cause harassment, alarm or distress.

Goddard, 30, was also handed a five-year restraining order banning him from contacting Ms Soubry, told he cannot enter an area including Parliament Square, the Palace of Westminster and Downing Street, and ordered to carry out 200 hours of unpaid work.

The activist and self-declared “British patriot” was ordered to pay Ms Soubry £200 in compensation, with £215 in other court costs, and another £200 to a Lithuanian police officer after admitting a separate racially aggravated public order offence involving him.

Senior District Judge Emma Arbuthnot had already indicated he would not be sent to jail.

Goddard, of Altrincham, Cheshire, who was a prominent figure in pro-Brexit protests inspired by the tactics of French “yellow vest” demonstrators, was sentenced before a public gallery filled with supporters and family.

At the same time, Brian Phillips, 55, from Erith, Kent, was sentenced to four weeks’ jail, also suspended for a year, and was handed the same restraining order after pleading guilty to the charge relating to Ms Soubry. He was also given a curfew and ordered to pay £200 in other court costs.

Additional reporting by PA

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