London

Brexit supporter fined for Eddie Izzard beret theft

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Media captionEddie Izzard chased the man and retrieved the hat

A Brexit supporter has admitted stealing Eddie Izzard's pink beret at a pro-EU rally in London.

David Czerwonko, of Clitherow Road, Brentford did not recognise the comedian when he stole his hat at the march down Whitehall, Westminster Magistrates' Court heard.

Izzard chased the 26-year-old and reclaimed the hat with help from police.

Czerwonko was fined £185 and ordered to pay £85 court costs.

Prosecutor Amanda McCabe said the pink beret, which had UK and EU badges pinned to it, was of sentimental value to Izzard.

'Masked and dangerous'

She said: "Mr Izzard was at the head of the march.

"A group of four masked men stood in front of the march with a large banner supporting the Brexit campaign."

The banner halted the march, blocking their path as they approached the cenotaph in Whitehall, she said.

Image copyright PA
Image caption Eddie Izzard joined demonstrators including campaigner Peter Tatchell on the march route
Image copyright @eddieizzard

Mr Izzard responded: "This is the face of Brexit, masked and dangerous," the court heard.

Tobi Olu-Iyiola, defending, said Czerwonko, who has lived in the UK for two and a half years, did not recognise the comedian and did not attend the march with the intention of causing trouble.

She said: "He said it was an instinctive and silly reaction... something he won't be repeating again."

Fame 'had impact'

The march was one of a series of rallies across the country on the anniversary of the outbreak of the Second World War, demanding a pause in the Brexit process.

Chair of the bench Robin Westlake acknowledged "there was not a great deal of planning, it was a fairly spontaneous reaction and the beret was recovered".

Green Party peer Jenny Jones, said she felt Eddie Izzard's fame "had an impact" on the police's "very quick reaction and the sentence."

She said: "It would be fantastic if they treated every small crime as seriously as this".

Czerwonko was ordered to pay a £30 victim surcharge.

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