The Essex estate agent who lost his job after accosting Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty five weeks ago in St James’s Park, London has been given an eight week prison sentence suspended for two years and must pay fines and compensation totalling £307.
During a hearing at Westminster magistrates court 24-year-old Lewis Hughes admitted a charge of assault by beating.
The court heard that Hughes and associate Jonathan Chew – who has pleaded not guilty to the same charge and will be tried in November – were filmed by a third person accosting Whitty in the park.
When Whitty refused to pose for a selfie with the pair, Hughes put the Chief Medical Officer in a headlock during what he told the court was ‘ten minutes of madness’ that has cost his job.
Chew has also been charged with wilfully obstructing a police constable on the same day.
The friends were in London to attend an anti-vaccination even held in the capital that weekend and had subsequently been drinking prior to the incident with Whitty.
Hughes’ defence counsel said the now former estate agent from Romford was ‘remorseful’ and had paid a heavy price for his actions on 27th June.
He had earlier told a newspaper that he ‘loved his job’ and had never been in trouble before.
Judge Paul Goldspring told Hughes: “Let it be a lesson to you; yobbish behaviour and drinking alcohol have consequences.”
During the whole encounter in the park Whitty said nothing. He has now been accosted three times by members of the public while out and about in London and Boris Johnson subsequently raised the level of protection he receives.
Hughes started out his career as an FX trader before joining Europcar. He then landed a job at Savills as a sales negotiator and subsequently worked for two more agencies.