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Former MP to be sentenced for 'unjustified and unprovoked' assault on teens


Eric Joyce

Eric Joyce

Eric Joyce

Former MP Eric Joyce is to be sentenced for attacking two teenagers in an ''unjustified and unprovoked'' assault in a shop.

The 54-year-old attacked the boys aged 14 and 15 at News and Food Express in Chalk Farm, north London, on October 17, Westminster Magistrates' Court heard earlier this month.

Joyce, the former MP for Falkirk, insisted he was performing a ''citizen's arrest'' but District Judge John Zani found him guilty of two counts of common assault.

The judge told Joyce, who is to appear at the same court for sentencing: ''Given my findings and your previous convictions, all options including imprisonment will be considered.''

The court had heard that he was convicted in 2012 of four common assaults in a House of Commons bar - which led to his resignation from the Labour Party - and last year of breaching the peace at Edinburgh Airport after being ''threatening and abusive''.

Prosecutor Jon Swain told the court the former Labour MP attacked the boys after they walked past him as he stood by a drinks fridge.

He described it as an "unjustified and unprovoked assault on both boys'' .

The court was told that Joyce grabbed the 14-year-old and knocked him to the floor and continued to hold on and wrestle the boy.

Mr Swain said: ''Mr Joyce was asking the shopkeeper to call the police and continuing to hold on to (the boy). At one point he held him by the neck.''

Mr Swain said the second boy tried to help his friend but was elbowed by Joyce and winded.

When police arrived, Joyce claimed one of the boys had been aggressive and headbutted him.

Joyce claimed he was performing a ''citizen's arrest'' when he held the boy down on the floor because the youngster tried to knock over a shelf.

But shopkeeper Ali Fahan told the court: ''The boy was crying, saying he wanted to go home.

''I told the man to let him go because he was crying. The smaller boy was trying to save his friend. He was trying to push the man and save his friend and go home.''

PA Media