Man with ‘delayed maturity’ jailed for harassing Chris Whitty

A man has been jailed after admitting harassing England’s chief medical officer, Sir Chris Whitty, by filming him with a phone against his will.

Footage of the incident last June, which was shared widely on social media, was shown at the trial of Jonathan Chew, 24, at Westminster magistrates court.

It showed Chew, alongside Lewis Hughes, jeering at Whitty and holding him. Hughes was given a suspended sentence 昨年.

But the district judge Paul Goldspring handed Chew an eight-week sentence and ordered him to pay £1,058 in costs and compensation.

Chew, from Chelmsford in エセックス, whistled when the custodial sentence was read out. He was also reprimanded by the judge for vaping while the costs were ordered. “Are you smoking? You are not allowed to vape in court,” Goldspring said.

Explaining the costs, 看護師は、彼女が彼女の足を動かすことができないように彼女の病院のベッドに繰り返し押し付けられたとき、女の子が「非常に大声で」叫び、「非常に怖い」と聞こえるのを目撃しました: “I wouldn’t normally impose costs as well as an immediate custodial sentence but I do so because your contempt for these proceedings has been breathtaking.”

Chew sang “West Ham till I die” as he was led away.

For the defence, Rabah Kherbane argued in mitigation that Chew had a learning disability, high levels of suggestibility, ADHD and autism, which affected his culpability on the date of the incident. He also had a delayed maturity.

Goldspring said those factors were not significant in sentencing.

彼は言った: “Your behaviour doesn’t give me any confidence that your remorse is genuine. I accept that you suffer from autism, learning disabilities and some other issues, including a lack of maturity.

“I accept that initially, 少なくとも, your intention was not hostile, intimidatory or humiliation. I’m afraid it very quickly turned into all of those things.”

彼が追加した: “You and Mr Hughes came across Professor, now Sir, Christopher Whitty, and it appears that you have a penchant for having your photograph, or selfie, to be taken with people who you consider to be celebrities.

“You asked for a selfie and once you were told no, it was obvious even to you, with autism, that Prof Whitty was very uncomfortable, slightly intimidated, perhaps humiliated by you filming him. You persisted and you placed your hands on him.”

The judge praised Whitty for the “great professionalism under a great deal of pressure” he had shown during the Covid pandemic.

Addressing Chew, he said of Whitty: “He didn’t choose to be in the public. He is entitled to go about his daily life without the fear of someone like you.

“I also sentence you on the basis that there should be a deterrent for targeting those who do not choose to be in public eye, from behaviour like this.”

彼が追加した: “Your offending in my view very clearly crosses the custody threshold. You targeted him in the sense that you recognised him from the TV.

“Secondly, although you did not upload the video, you were complicit by sharing; you added to the humiliation. In my view that was your intention.”

The court heard that Chew had a long criminal record that included five offences against a person, and three public order offences.

Goldspring said: “You were on licence at the time, and you have a significant and I would say appalling criminal record. And in particular, you have relevant convictions for public order offences.”

Goldspring also chided Chew for obstructing police officers. 彼は言った: “You chose to give your brother’s name. 残念ながら, that wasn’t something you put right immediately or indeed ever.

“Eventually you were caught up with because you and your mother gave an interview to the Sun newspaper. You persisted with your not guilty plea in relation to overwhelming evidence of obstruction all the way up until the day of trial.”

Chew was given two weeks in prison for obstructing the course of justice, to run currently with his eight-week sentence.

ヒューズ, 24, of Romford in east ロンドン, earlier pleaded guilty to a charge of assault by beating and was sentenced last July.

He was handed an eight-week prison sentence, suspended for two years, and was ordered to pay a total of £307 in fines and compensation. 彼がいた sacked from his job as an estate agent after the incident.