IslingtonTribune

The independent London newspaper

Football thug guilty of ‘frenzied attack’ on Guardian columnist in Pentonville

40-year-old with string of convictions for violence admitted assaulting Owen Jones outside pub

24 January, 2020 — By Sam Ferguson

Guardian columnist Owen Jones

A CONVICTED football hooligan has been found guilty of launching a “frenzied attack” on a Guardian columnist outside an Islington pub.

James Healy, 40, admitted attacking Owen Jones outside the Lexington Pub in Pentonville on August 17 last year, and claimed it was because the 35-year-old had spilled his drink.

But after a two-day hearing at Snaresbrook Crown Court, Recorder Judge Anne Studd QC ruled the attack was motivated by Mr Jones’s media profile.

She added: “I therefore propose to sentence Mr Healy on the basis that this was a wholly unprovoked attack on Mr Jones by reason of his widely published left-wing and LGBTQ beliefs by a man who has demonstrable right-wing sympathies.”

The defendant, who has a string of convictions for football violence, pleaded guilty to affray and assault occasioning actual bodily harm at a previous hearing, and will be sentenced next month.

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