Pro-Brexit protestor admits harassing MP Anna Soubry outside Parliament

Posted On: 
19th July 2019

A pro-Brexit activist has pleaded guilty to public order offences after shouting abuse at MP Anna Soubry.

Ms Soubry is the MP for Broxtowe.

The Broxtowe MP said she was "pleased" after James Goddard, 30, from Greater Manchester, admitted to causing alarm and distress using threatening or abusive language over the incident which took place outside the Houses of Parliament.

Meanwhile fellow defendant Brian Phillips, 55, pleaded guilty to using threatening or abusive words or behaviour with intent to cause harassment, alarm or distress.

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Westminster Magistrates' Court heard that Mr Goddard - a regular protester outside the Commons - had shouted "Nazi, traitor and scum" at the MP, who has been a vocal campaigner for staying in the European Union.

In December he filmed himself following Ms Soubry and shouting: "You are a traitor, you are a disgrace. You are on the side of Adolf Hitler."

Mr Goddard also pleaded guilty to a racially aggravated public order offence against a police officer during the protests, which took place during December 2018 and January this year.

Ms Soubry is currently an MP for the Independent Group, having defected to the bloc from the Conservatives earlier this year.

In a statement responding to the case, she said: "I am pleased that both defendants have pleaded guilty to two public order offences and in relation to Goddard the additional offence of racially aggravated abuse of a police officer. They have admitted these crimes and accepted that their behaviour on two occasions outside Parliament was wrong and unjustified.

"Everyone is entitled to go about their lawful business. In a democracy people have a right to peaceful lawful protest. No one has the right to intimidate and abuse anyone in the way I was by the defendants.

"I am particularly pleased justice has been done in relation to the police officer. Racist abuse is deplorable and should never be tolerated. I would like to thank prosecuting counsel Paul Jarvis QC, the CPS and the Metropolitan Police for their hard work and professionalism on this case."

The two men were released on bail ahead of sentencing on Monday afternoon.