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Ex-plumber who spat at Jeremy Corbyn given community order
28 January 2021, 15:40
An ex-plumber has been given an 18 month community order for spitting in Jeremy Corbyn's face during the the first Covid-19 lockdown.
Gerald Dore assaulted Mr Corbyn in the morning of May 20 last year in a "barrage of abuse" while he was cycling with his wife Laura Alvarez.
Prosecutor Matt Barrowcliffe told Westminster Magistrates' Court the Islington North MP had stopped at the corner of Seven Sisters Road, north London where Dore was waiting to cross.
Gesturing to let Dore cross, the 56-year-old swore at Mr Corbyn who said there was "no need to use that language" before the defendant continued.
Mr Barrowcliffe said: "He began shouting and swearing aggressively towards both parties before ultimately taking a step towards Mr Corbyn and spitting."
The community order given will include 80 hours of unpaid work.
Dorre has also been ordered to pay £250 in compensation; £150 to Mr Corbyn and £100 to his wife.
In a statement read by Mr Barrowcliffe, Mr Corbyn said: "I was alarmed and distressed by the aggressive behaviour towards me, in particular spitting in my face."
Mr Barrowcliffe said the assault was aggravated by Mr Corbyn's vulnerability as a person in the public eye.
Representing himself, Dore said the incident was not motivated by Mr Corbyn's politics.
He told the court: "I don't know him.
"I didn't dislike him, he was just in my way and I was trying to get home."
He continued: "All I was trying to do was cross the road and he was in the way."
"I might have sprayed him," he later added.
Dore previously admitted one count of assault by beating against Mr Corbyn and a second charge of using threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour with intent to cause fear of unlawful violence.
He said he has chronic pain and mental heath issues, and the court was told he has a lower culpability.
The court heard the former plumber has previous convictions for assault, including an assault in 2017 on a journalist in Finsbury Park.
District Judge Adrian Turner said: "To spit at someone is gross in any circumstance but to do so at a time when the infections were running very high was very serious indeed."
District Judge Turner accepted the assault was a chance encounter.
But rejecting Dore's argument the incident had caused him to bite and injure his tongue, the judge said: "The fault was entirely yours."