Six convicted for abusing BBC Newsnight reporter during protest | UK News

Five men and a woman who verbally assaulted a BBC journalist during a protest have been found guilty of disturbing public order, police say.

A court has already heard how members of the group intimidated Newsnight political editor Nicholas Watt during the politically charged incident in Whitehall on June 14, 2021.

Crowds had gathered to protest against the government’s four-week extension of coronavirus restrictions in England.

Djazia Chaib-Eddour, 44, Christopher Aitken, 62, Martin Hockridge, 58, Alexander Peat, 34, and Gary Purnell, 45, all denied using threatening, abusive or insulting language or behavior with the intent to use harassment, alarm or distress.

They stood trial at Westminster Magistrates’ Court from June 29 to July 1, while Joseph Olswang, 40, pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing.

But a guilty verdict in all cases was recorded on August 1 and all six will be sentenced on August 30, according to the Metropolitan Police.

DC James Harold, the officer handling the case, said: ‘A video of this incident has sparked an enormous amount of online comment and public concern. The behavior of these people was unacceptable.

“Members of the public, regardless of their profession, have the right to go about their day free from verbal harassment or actions that cause them to fear for their safety.”

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