news

Man who attacked Owen Jones was motivated by homophobia or antipathy towards his political views, says judge

The Attitude and Guardian columnist was attacked by four men last August

2020-01-16

Words: Steve Brown

A man who attacked Owen Jones was accused in court of being motivated by his leftwing politics or his sexuality.

The Attitude and Guardian columnist – who is openly gay – was celebrating his birthday in Islington back last August when four men approached him and allegedly attacked him.

Three men were arrested after attending a police station and they were all arrested on suspicion of violent disorder and assault occasioning actual bodily harm.

James Healy, Charlie Ambrose, and Liam Tracey appeared at Snaresbrook Crown Court where they all admitted a charge of affray.

Healy admitted to a further charge of assault occasioning actual bodily harm and he appeared in court today (January 16) to determine whether the attack was motivated by homophobia or antipathy towards his leftwing political views.

If found guilty on either count, Healy faces a higher sentence, the Guardian reported.

Prosecutor Philip McGhee said: “It is said, based on the evidence, that the assault was motivated by hostility borne by the defendant towards the victim either due to the victim’s sexual orientation or political views, or both.

“The defendant asserts the only motivation is something that happened between him and the victim inside the public house outside which the assault took place.”

Recorder Anne Studd QC, told the court her “job is to look at motivation,” and said she would examine CCTV, to determine “whether there is any relevance in the memorabilia found at his home address”.

She would also look at whether Jones was known to Healy.

Sentencing for all three is to due take place in February at the earliest.