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Four anti-vaccine protesters sentenced for threatening BBC’s Nick Watt

Demonstrators called Newsnight journalist a traitor before chasing him at rally near Downing Street

Anti-lockdown protesters who abused the BBC journalist Nick Watt and left him feeling in “immense danger” have been sentenced.

Footage played in court showed demonstrators shouting in the Newsnight political editor’s face and calling him a traitor before chasing him at a rally near Downing Street on 14 June last year.

The anti-vaccine demonstrators were said to have targeted Watt because he was wearing a BBC lanyard.

Djazia Chaib-Eddour, 44, Martin Hockridge, 58, Alexander Peat, 34, Christopher Aitken, 62, and Gary Purnell, 45, denied using threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour with intent to cause harassment, alarm or distress, but were found guilty at trial.

The district judge, Louisa Cieciora, sitting at Westminster magistrates court, said the incident was “extremely unpleasant”, as she handed Purnell, Peat and Hockridge 12-month community orders, with a requirement to carry out 200 hours of unpaid work. Chaib-Eddour was given a 12-month community order, with a requirement to carry out 100 hours of unpaid work and 20 hours of rehabilitation.

They were each ordered to pay £395 in costs and other charges and given an indefinite restraining order not to contact Watt.

The judge said: “This was an extremely unpleasant incident in which each of you used abusive words and threatening behaviour towards Mr Watt. This was committed against somebody who was providing a service to the public, even if you did not agree that service was being performed to the standard it should have been.”

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Read the original article at The Guardian

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