Eddie Izzard 'stood up to transgender attacks'

Eddie Izzard Image copyright PA
Image caption Eddie Izzard said he "attacked back with words" when he was threatened by Jamie Penny

Eddie Izzard was making a stand against "transgender people being aggressively attacked" when he swore at a man who threatened him, a court has heard.

The comedian told Hammersmith Magistrates' Court he "attacked back with words" after Jamie Penny threatened to "do" his Pimlico home.

Penny, 24, who has autism, was found guilty of two counts of using threatening and abusive words with intent to cause distress.

He will be sentenced on 30 November.

The court heard Mr Izzard was by his car outside his central London home on 3 April when he was approached by two men, one of whom said he wanted a lift.

When he refused, Penny told the comedian: "Izzard, we are going to do your house when you are away," the jury heard.

Image copyright PA
Image caption Jamie Penny told the court he had seen Mr Izzard harassing a black man in the street

Mr Izzard said he felt Penny was being "totally aggressive" and was threatening to break into his house so he had sworn back at him.

He said he had responded because "for hundreds of thousands of years transgender people have been aggressively attacked" and "I just thought, 'it is not going to happen'".

The court heard a month later on 4 May, Penny had shouted at Mr Izzard and called him a "poofter" when he saw him in a nearby street.

As a result the comedian decided to go to the police.

Giving evidence, Penny told the court it was not him but his friend who had threatened Mr Izzard, and said the comedian had responded by "talking to us like we are nothing".

On the second occasion, Penny said he saw Mr Izzard harassing a black man and had told him to leave him alone but had not called him a "poofter".

He was ordered by magistrates not to contact Mr Izzard and bailed until sentencing at Westminster Magistrates' Court.

Image copyright PA
Image caption A man was fined in September for stealing Eddie Izzard's pink beret during a pro-EU rally

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