Nigel Farage milkshake thrower sacked over EU election stunt and now needs police protection – The Sun
A 32-YEAR-OLD man who lobbed a milkshake at Nigel Farage while on the EU election trail has been sacked and now needs police protection.
Paul Crowther has pleaded guilty to common assault and criminal damage today after he was filmed dousing the Brexit Party leader with a £5.25 banana and salted caramel Five Guys drink in Newcastle.
Mr Farage's suit was left covered in the milkshake as Mr Crowther told journalists he did as "a right of protest against people like him".
He said: "The bile and the racism he spouts out in this country is far more damaging than a bit of milkshake to his front."
Crowther, of Throckley, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, was charged by Northumbria Police with common assault and criminal damage last month.
The force said the criminal damage relates to a £239 lapel microphone that was damaged when the milkshake was thrown on May 20.
He appeared at North Tyneside Magistrates' Court this morning, where he admitted the charges.
Crowther was given 150 hours of unpaid work and ordered to pay £350 compensation.
'ACT OF CRASS STUPIDITY'
District Judge Bernard Begley said: "The offences are serious enough for me to impose a community order.
"I don't have in mind imprisonment for you."
The judge told him "this was an act of crass stupidity".
The court heard how Crowther was sacked from his job as a customer service representative at Sky and threats have been made to a dog charity where he volunteered.
Since the incident he has suffered from repeated threats of violence and has had regular police checks to his address in Throckley, Newcastle, the judge was told.
A GoFundMe page entitled "Get Paul Crowther his milkshake money back" was closed when it reached £1,705.
James Long, prosecuting, said: "I suppose for the split second the attack took place, Mr Farage would not know whether it was a harmless liquid or something, in this day and age, far more sinister."
Brian Hegarty, defending, said there was a long history of protesters throwing food at politicians going back hundreds if not thousands of years, although the items may have changed from fish, to fruit, to eggs and on to milkshakes.
He added Crowther now regretted his lunchtime actions, saying: "The defendant has had cause to reflect and, having done so, he would say he wished he would not have acted as he did."
In a victim statement, the politician said: "I am concerned because of the behaviour of individuals like this, the normal democratic process cannot continue in a lawful and peaceful manner."
After the shake was chucked, furious Mr Farage could be heard moaning of his bodyguards' "complete failure" as they whisked him away.
He added: "You could have spotted that a mile away" and "How could this happen?".
Later that day, the MEP candidate 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."
He later tweeted a picture of him smiling on stage for the Brexit Party with the caption: "Whatever they throw at us, we will never give up."
Mr Farage had earlier dubbed his soaking an "affront to democracy" and tweeted: "Sadly some remainers have become radicalised, to the extent that normal campaigning is becoming impossible.
"For a civilised democracy to work you need the losers consent, politicians not accepting the referendum result have led us to this."
Today's court appearance come a week after comedian Jo Brand sparked outrage on BBC Radio 4's Heresy programme after saying a string of milkshake attacks on politicians such as Mr Farage should have been carried out with acid instead.
The 61-year-old comedian told Radio 4 show Heresy that yobs who attacked Mr Farage with milkshakes were “pathetic”.
Speaking on the Heresy show, she said: “Certain unpleasant characters are being thrown to the fore, and they’re very, very easy to hate.
“And I’m kind of thinking, why bother with a milkshake when you could get some battery acid?”
She added: "That’s just me, sorry, I’m not gonna do it, it’s purely a fantasy. But I think milkshakes are pathetic, I honestly do. Sorry."
Mr Farage responded at the time by saying: "This is incitement of violence and the police need to act."
Brendan Cox, whose Labour MP wife Jo Cox was murdered by a far-right fanatic in her own constituency in June 2016, tweeted: "I dislike Nigel Farage‘s politics profoundly.
"But I don’t think throwing stuff at politicians you disagree with is a good idea. It normalises violence and intimidation and we should consistently stand again it."
Broadcasting watchdog Ofcom confirmed it had received 19 complaints from angry listeners since the show was broadcast.
Other high-profile figures were also targeted with a milkshake.
Far-right hot head Tommy Robinson had two chucked at him in two days while he was campaigning to be an MEP in Bury and Warrington.
Ukip candidate Carl Benjamin, who joked about raping a Labour MP, was also attacked with a milkshake.
In another attack on politicians, in 2001 John Prescott punched a protester in Rhyl, north Wales after he flung an egg at him.
No action was taken against either of the men although both were questioned by police.
The milkshake incident comes despite McDonald's branches in Edinburgh posting signs saying that milkshakes and ice creams would not be for sale ahead of Brexit party rallies.
The fast food chain claimed police had asked them not to sell shakes or ice cream to stop any embarrassing splatters.
Later he was defended by political opponents including Theresa May and Tony Blair who spoke out against the use of violence.
Members of the public were filmed laughing as Mr Farage was led away after the latest milkshake attack on politicians and public figures.
Former EDL leader Tommy Robinson and Ukip candidate Carl Benjamin were both targeted in their milkshake attacks.
Labour supporter and Remain fanatic Crowther was later seen being led away in handcuffs and put in the back of a police van.
Northumbria Police later confirmed a 32-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of common assault.
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The attack has been widely condemned by other politicians, with Brexit minister James Cleverly saying people should debate rather than "assault political opponents".
Mr Cox also spoke out, saying that politicians should be able to "campaign without harassment, intimidation and abuse".
Mr Farage – whose fledgling Brexit party is leading opinion polls – is touring the UK ahead of European parliament elections on Thursday.
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