Man jailed for assault on George Galloway


A former BBC manager with a "pathological loathing" for George Galloway has been jailed for 16 months (thurs) for beating him up in the street.

Neil Masterson, 39, approached Mr Galloway while the Respect MP posed for pictures with two Moroccan men in Golborne Road, Notting Hill.

He then punched the Bradford West MP repeatedly and pushed away Dr Mostafa Maroof when he tried to intervene, Isleworth Crown Court heard.

The Scottish MP is now unable to hug anyone without pain and says he now cannot go anywhere without bodyguards.

Masterson admitted one count of assault by beating Mr Galloway and common assault on Dr Maroof.

But he denied that the attack on the politician - who he saw as a "serpent" and "enemy of Judaism" - was religiously aggravated and pleaded not guilty to religiously aggravated assault.

Masterson, of Campden Hill, Kensington, is a full-time carer for a woman suffering from Crohn's disease.

Judge Aidan Marron QC handed him 16 months in prison for assault and two months for the second count, to be served concurrently.

He was also ordered to pay a £100 surcharge.

He was found not guilty of religiously aggravated assault.

Judge Marron said: "This was a completely unprovoked and sustained attack involving a kick, an attempted kick and repeated heavy punching.

"It was a disturbing example of violence in a public setting in front of horrified observers. It would have been much worse and continued longer had not two members of the public intervened robustly.

"Mr Galloway still suffers from real physical consequences as a result and equally significantly, still harbours real anxieties and concerns about venturing out to meetings and the like and takes security staff with him.

"That has a profound impact on his professional and social life."

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