Paul Crowther was arrested on May 20 after throwing a banana salted caramel shake at Nigel Farage, the leader of the Brexit Party, while Farage was in Newcastle for a campaign event.
Crowther pleaded guilty to common assault and criminal damages on June 18, according to The Independent. The latter charge came after a microphone was damaged by the milkshake.
Crowther’s attorney told the court that his client had been fired from his job as a technical adviser at Sky and that Crowther regretted what he had done.
Paul Crowther, arrested for throwing a £5.25 banana and salted caramel Five Guys milkshake on Nigel Farage, said as he stood in handcuffs: “I was quite looking forward to it, but I think it went on a better purpose.” pic.twitter.com/mMQdEURtzs
— Tom Wilkinson (@tommywilkinson) May 20, 2019
District Judge Bernard Begley called what Crowther did an “act of crass stupidity” before sentencing him to 150 hours of community service and levying a £350 fine.
“The offenses are serious enough for me to impose a community order,” Begley also said, reported The Sun. “I don’t have in mind imprisonment for you.”
Chris Atkinson of the Crown Prosecution Service said officials hope the successful prosecution “acts as a deterrent to others considering any criminal form of political protest.”
“In an open democracy, people should be free to conduct legitimate political campaigns without fear of physical assault,” he added. “While members of the public have the democratic right to engage in peaceful protest, it is wholly appropriate to bring charges in any case where such protests cross the line into criminal behavior.”
The £5.25 milkshake reportedly was launched by Paul Crowther, who, while stood in handcuffs, said: “I was quite looking forward to it, but I think it went on a better purpose.” pic.twitter.com/4XFtLIFDon
— The Telegraph (@Telegraph) May 20, 2019
‘My Only chance’
Crowther admitted on the day of the assault that he’d thrown the milkshake.
Speaking at the scene of the crime, Crowther said that Farage’s “bile and racism” was his motivation for the assault, reported Birmingham Live. “I didn’t know he was in town, I thought, ‘This is my only chance.’”
According to The Sun, Crowther’s social media feeds showed an obsession with politics and fervent support of the Remain campaign, which opposes the Brexit Party. While the Brexit Party would like to exit the European Union following the 2016 referendum vote to do so, the Remain campaign seeks to keep the country in the union.
Crowther also posted pictures on Facebook and Twitter of the milkshake before admitting he committed the assault.
Paul Crowther leaves court pursued by the press and protected by security. Refuses to apologise to Nigel Farage or address any questions. pic.twitter.com/5G1yM3pBYQ
— Sean Seddon (@seddonnews) June 18, 2019
“When you’re walking back to the office with your milkshake and you bump into a Brexit Party march…” he wrote. “I [expletive] did it, it was Farage. I can’t believe I did it.”
In a previous post, sharing an article about a milkshake thrown at UKIP candidate Carl Benjamin, Crowther wrote, “Fascist, misogynist [expletive] deserve all the dairy-based products that come sailing their way.”
Farage, appearing at a rally hours after being assaulted, told the crowd: “I won’t even acknowledge the low-grade behavior that I was subjected to this morning, I won’t dignify it, I will ignore it. Perhaps keep buying new clothes and carry on.”
“For a civilized democratic nation to function in democracy, the loser has to give their consent. The loser has to accept they’ve lost the election and do their best to win the next election. That is how our system works,” he added.