HomeNewsCrimeFar-right Extremist Arrested For Assaulting Owen Jones For His Beliefs

Far-right Extremist Arrested For Assaulting Owen Jones For His Beliefs

Police officers have arrested a football hoodlum for assaulting a Guardian columnist, Owen Jones outside a London pub last year.

Police officers have arrested a football hoodlum for assaulting a Guardian columnist, Owen Jones outside a London pub last year.

James Healy, 40, attacked the columnist while he was celebrating his birthday. The court was told that the football hoodlum attacked the Guardian writer because of his left-wing political beliefs and his sexuality as a gay man.

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Mr Healy was found in possession of a collection of far-right paraphernalia including a football flag decorated with SS symbols and a badge marked with the name of neo-Nazi group Combat 18, Snaresbrook Crown Court heard.

Owen Jones told the court that he had been a subject of an “unrelenting” campaign of abuse by far-right supporters, including daily death intimidating remarks. He said: “I’m an unapologetic socialist, I’m an anti-racist, I’m an anti-fascist and I’ve consistently used my profile to advocate left-wing causes.”

The left-wing writer and commentator also said he had turned into a “hate figure” for right-wing extremists. “It’s the combination of being left-wing, gay, anti-fascist – that’s everything the far-right hate”, he added.

James Healy from Portsmouth refuted holding extremist views and claimed that Mr Jones had spilt his drink and he did not know who he was. After his apprehension, the police found a photo of him performing a Nazi salute as a teenager during a search at his home. However, Mr Healy claimed that he held out his arm to show off his Chelsea Youth firm tattoo.

On Friday, Judge Anne Stud QC sentenced Mr Healy to two years and eight months imprisonment for assault, and ten months to run concomitantly for affray.

After pleading guilty to affray, co-defendants Liam Tracey, 35, from Camden, and Charlie Ambrose, 30, from Brighton, were also given suspended sentences.

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