Crowdfunders raise £520 for Remainer Sky technician to pay assault fine after admitting hurling £5.25 Five Guys milkshake over Nigel Farage
- GoFundMe page was set up to raise the £520 Paul Crowther was ordered to pay
- The page’s founder said any surplus will go to an anti-racism cause if raised
- Crowther has pleaded guilty to assault at North Tyneside Magistrates’ Court
Paul Crowther, 32, pictured, has admitted common assault after throwing a milkshake at Nigel Farage last month
An online fundraiser has been set up to help the man who threw a milkshake over Nigel Farage cover his compensation and court costs.
The GoFundMe page was set up to raise the £520 Paul Crowther has been ordered to pay, and within three hours had almost reached its target.
Should it exceed its target, the organiser said he and the 32-year-old defendant will put the surplus towards an anti-racism cause.
Organiser Graeme Rayner wrote: ‘I set up this page for Paul Crowther because I felt that the punishment didn’t fit the crime.
‘Throwing a milkshake over someone is, in my opinion, relatively harmless.
‘As a direct consequence of this, Paul has become a target for hate from the far right, has lost his job and now has a criminal record.
‘I vehemently oppose Nigel Farage and his politics, and am absolutely certain that this case was prosecuted to the extent it was because of the identity of the victim, not the nature of the crime.’
But some people disagreed with the fundraiser, with one person commenting: ‘This is a disgrace.
The crowdfunding campaign has so far raised £820 of its £1,000 total to pay off Crowther’s fine
Crowther threw a Five Guys milkshake over Mr Farage in Newcastle last month. The Brexit Party leader is pictured in the aftermath with an associate
‘He got of (sic) lightly.
‘He was found guilty and maybe he will learn a lesson from this. Donating to this cause is wrong.’
And North Tyneside Magistrates’ Court heard the married stepfather was subsequently fired from his role as a technical adviser at Sky.
He was ordered to hand over £350 in compensation to the politician and carry out 150 hours of unpaid work as the judge told him he had ‘indulged in a moment of crass stupidity’ and accused Crowther of having ‘a warped desire to gain attention and notoriety’.
But the court also heard he repeatedly been threatened with violence and has had regular police checks to his home, while a dog charity he volunteers at has also been threatened.
Crowther, who has a 14-year-old stepson, also admitted criminal damage to a £239 lapel microphone Mr Farage was wearing at the time and also unsuccessfully tried to have his address in Throckley, Newcastle, withheld from the public.
A spokesman for Mr Farage said he had no comment following the result of the case.
Crowther, pictured outside court today, said in the aftermath of the incident it was a ‘right of protest against people like him [Farage]’
Farage, pictured after the attack, was heard telling security staff he ‘could have spotted that a mile off’
Judge Begley told Crowther: ‘Whatever your allegiances and opinions this was an act of crass stupidity, motivated it seems by your political views and it occurs to me from a warped desire to gain attention and notoriety.
‘Moreover the CCTV footage we have seen suggests you found it amusing.’
He said the attack happened in a busy city centre at lunchtime in view of the public and media and had caused Mr Farage ’embarrassment and inconvenience.’
Judge Begley added: ‘You have lost your job and threats have been made to you. Perhaps you should have thought about that possibility before you acted as you did, if not for yourself then for your family.’
Mr Farage accused the offender of attacking democracy through the stunt, and, in a statement to the court, said: ‘I am concerned that because of the behaviour of individuals like this the normal democratic process cannot continue in a lawful, peaceful manner.’
But Crowther’s lawyer Brian Hegarty told the court he was ‘following a tradition [of protest] that has spanned hundreds if not thousands of years’.
He said: ‘Throwing food and drinks at politicians has a long and rich history in this country as a means of protest.
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