Man accused of Chris Whitty assault contests charges in dressing gown

A man accused of assaulting Chris Whitty in a central London park attended a court appearance via video link from his bedroom while wearing a dressing gown after saying he had tested positive for coronavirus.

Jonathan Chew, 24, and estate agent Lewis Hughes, 23, filmed themselves with England’s chief medical officer as he walked through St James’ Park in Westminster on 27 유월.

Footage of the pair appearing to put Whitty in a headlock as they demanded a selfie went viral after the incident.

Chew, who denies common assault, appeared at Westminster magistrates court on Tuesday via video link from his bedroom in a dressing gown which slipped down to reveal his bare chest. His lawyer Peter Fallen told the court he had tested positive for coronavirus.

Shortly before the hearing started, Fallen told the court he was withdrawing from the case because he was “professionally embarrassed”.

“I am no longer able to continue to represent Mr Chew, I’m sorry to tell you, for professional reasons,” he told the court.

Senior district judge Paul Goldspring allowed the trial to continue after Chew said he was happy to proceed without representation.

“Me, Mr Jonathan Chew, doesn’t want to be represented,”그는 말했다.

Daniel O’Donoghue, prosecuting, questioned Chew’s positive Covid test results. He told the court police had tried to make inquiries but the NHS refused to share confidential information with them.

When police visited Chew’s address to see if he was isolating, his brother’s girlfriend answered the door and said he was not living there. She added that she did not know where he was and was not aware that he had Covid.

During the hearing, Chew became increasingly exasperated and insisted Whitty should be at court for the trial. “The law is that I have the right for him to come,” he told the court. “I want Chris Whitty there.”

“I suspect I know a bit more about the law than you do,” Goldspring replied, explaining that Prof Whitty does not legally have to attend court as the facts of the case had been agreed between the prosecution and defence.

But Chew responded: “You’re getting it all wrong. I’ve been in court. I’ve agreed that Chris Whitty has to be in court.

“I feel like I’m innocent. I’m answering an assault charge which I don’t think I’ve done.”

Goldspring replied: “A remarkable recovery, I might say, from where you were two minutes ago.”

Chew, 하나, said that he had “diagnosed coronavirus”, adding to the judge: “Are you saying corona is not real now? Feel like what you’re doing now is victimising me. You’re calling me a liar.”

Goldspring said: “Your cavalier approach to the severity of these proceedings is breathtaking.”

“What does cavalier mean?” Chew interjected.

“Let me finish,” said Goldspring. “I’m entirely satisfied that you’re not so unwell that you can’t participate in your trial.”

하나, Tuesday’s trial had had to be vacated until 4 1 월 2022 because Chew was unable to see the CCTV evidence via the video link.

“There does come a point, whether or not Mr Chew can or can’t see [the CCTV], that the proceedings become a bit of a farce,” said Goldspring.

Chew has been tasked with finding new legal representation before then and he must appear in person. He is on conditional bail and must stay at the given address.

Hughes admitted common assault in July and was handed an eight-week jail term suspended for two years. He lost his job as an estate agent after his employer saw the footage.

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