A man accused of assaulting the government’s chief medical officer Christ Whitty has been admonished by a judge for his ‘cavalier attitude’ to the court.
24-year-old Jonathan Chew from Chelmsford in Essex, who together with former estate agent Lewis Hughes was filmed accosting Whitty in a London park on 27th June (pictured), has denied the charges and claimed he is innocent.
Hughes, who lost his job at property firm Caplen Estates after his bosses saw the footage on social media, admitted common assault in July and was given an eight-week jail term suspended for two years.
Chew’s pre-trial hearing went less smoothly after he claimed to have Covid and requested a virtual hearing. During this Chew appeared in bed wearing a dressing gown and coughing frequently.
Daniel O’Donoghue, prosecuting, questioned the validity of the documents Chew supplied confirming his positive test results but, despite this, the trial was postponed.
During the virtual hearing Chew’s lawyer announced he would be withdrawing from the case ‘for professional reasons’ and ‘embarrassment’, while the defendant’s request that Whitty also attend the trial were turned down by Judge Goldspring.
Goldspring said to Chew that: “Your cavalier approach to the severity of these proceedings is breath-taking.”
The trial has now been moved to the New Year in order for Chew to find a new legal representative, and at that hearing will have to appear in person, it has been reported.