Yellow vest protestor fined for assaulting Manchester Evening News photographer

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James Goddard

‘Yellow vest protester’ James Goddard has been convicted of assaulting a Manchester Evening News photographer during a demonstration in Manchester in February. 

Goddard, 29, who lives in Timperley, was filmed at the rally repeatedly trying to grab at a camera belonging to Joel Goodman, a freelancer who was working for the M.E.N.

Representing himself, Goddard was fined £300 and a further £500 for prosecution costs, £50 in compensation and a £30 victim impact surcharge.

He was also banned from approaching Goodman for two years as a restraining order was brought into effect. The judge later dismissed a further public order offence against the defendant over an interaction in which he said he would "take his (Goddard’s) head off his shoulders".

The threat of violence from the comments was not "immediate", the judge explained. Goddard said he regretted making the comment but maintained that it was a "common English idiom".

Proceedings were interrupted when the defendant raised a piece of paper bearing the message "Pussy coward leftist soy boy" as Goodman gave evidence. Goddard later claimed the message was directed at Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.

Police officers were called into the room to confiscate the paper and three of his supporters were asked to leave the court room after heckling.