Tyne & Wear

Nigel Farage milkshake attack: Newcastle man told to pay compensation

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Media captionNigel Farage milkshake attack was caught on Newcastle CCTV

A man who hurled milkshake over Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage has been ordered to pay him compensation.

Mr Farage had given a speech on 20 May in Newcastle before the European elections when he was attacked.

Paul Crowther, 32, of Holeyn Road, Throckley, pleaded guilty to common assault and criminal damage at North Tyneside Magistrates' Court.

He was given 150 hours of unpaid work assessment and ordered to pay Mr Farage £350 compensation.

The attack, which involved a £5.25 banana and salted caramel milkshake, was described in court as being "politically motivated".

District Judge Bernard Begley said: "This was an act of crass stupidity."

'More sinister'

Defence solicitor, Brian Hegarty, described Crowther's actions as a "moment of madness" and said his client now regretted what he had done.

Mr Hegarty said: "Ordinarily a man of his position would receive a caution.

"The fact is, it is said to be a politically motivated incident which has caused him to appear before this court and caused him to lose his good name."

Prosecutor James Long said Mr Farage was shocked and embarrassed by the attack and said that, for a split second, he would not have known whether it was milkshake, or "something more sinister".

Crowther was arrested at the scene after being filmed dousing Mr Farage.

He told journalists the act was "a right of protest against people like him" and said of Mr Farage: "The bile and the racism he spouts out in this country is far more damaging than a bit of milkshake to his front."

The hearing heard that Crowther had been sacked from his job as a Sky technical advisor.

Image copyright PA
Image caption Crowther has been sacked from his job as a Sky technical advisor

A number of crowdfunding pages have been set up to cover Crowther's costs.

A Gofundme page entitled "Get Paul Crowther his milkshake money back" raised £1,705 while a separate campaign on the same site has donations of more than £1,300 to pay off Crowther's fine.

More than £400 has been raised for the fine on JustGiving.

A second page on the same platform has raised £12 for a "new milkshake", double its target, because Mr Farage's suit "absorbed much of the last one".

In the immediate aftermath of the incident, Mr Farage was heard telling a member of security staff that he "could have spotted that a mile off".

Later that day, he said: "I won't even acknowledge the low-grade behaviour that I was subjected to this morning. I won't dignify it. I will ignore it.

"Perhaps keep buying new clothes and carry on."

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