Jeremy Corbyn egging: Brexiteer jailed for 28 days

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Jeremy CorbynImage source, PA
Image caption,
Jeremy Corbyn was attacked during a visit to a mosque and Muslim welfare centre in his constituency in north London

A Brexit supporter who egged Jeremy Corbyn while yelling "respect the vote" has been jailed for 28 days.

John Murphy, 31, admitted attacking the Labour leader with an egg following the MP's visit to a mosque in his Islington North constituency on 3 March.

Mr Corbyn was "shocked and surprised" by the attack, which prompted his team to increase his security, Westminster Magistrates' Court heard.

Magistrates said Murphy had attacked "our democratic process".

Murphy, from Barnet, north-west London, admitted the charge of assault by beating.

'Frustration and anger'

Chief magistrate Emma Arbuthnot told Murphy, of Totteridge Common, Whetstone, a custodial sentence would send a clear message that "attacks on MPs must stop".

Sentencing him to 28 days in jail, she said: "An attack like this is an attack on our democratic process."

Malik Aldeiri, defending, blamed Murphy's actions on "frustration and anger borne out of the political situation we find ourselves in".

Mr Aldeiri said: "He felt he was making a statement.

"He believes his civil rights were violated and this was a demonstration by him against what he says is a failure by Parliament to adhere to his democratic vote."

Media caption,

The Labour leader was attacked by Brexit supporter John Murphy

Mr Corbyn was with the Labour shadow home secretary Diane Abbott at the Muslim welfare centre at the time of the attack, a week after the party announced it would support a second referendum on the UK leaving the European Union, prosecutor Kevin Christie said.

"Suddenly, he felt a strike to the right side of his forehead and then realised someone had reached over his right shoulder and struck him," Mr Christie said.

"As he was struck he heard a male voice shouting 'respect the vote'."

Mr Corbyn had left the room to wash himself when he realised he had been struck by an egg.

Murphy continued to shout "respect the vote" while being restrained by staff.

Mr Corbyn, who was left with a red mark, noted Murphy's face was "contorted" with rage and he appeared "very aggressive".

Image source, Central News
Image caption,
John Murphy said he was "perfectly happy to go to jail"

In a victim impact statement he said: "I was shocked and surprised when the assault occurred as I have always felt safe and secure at the Muslim Welfare House.

"The assault was completely unprovoked and threatening.

"Whilst I'm determined to make sure I'm able to interact with people as I always have, I now have to be more cautious."

In a statement written before he was sentenced, Murphy likened himself to civil rights protesters and said he was "perfectly happy to go to jail".

He added: "I'd rather be a rebel than a slave."

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