Chris Whitty attacker sings as he’s jailed for hassling health boss in park

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Jonathan Chew began singing a football song after he was jailed for attacking Sir Chris Whitty in a London park in June last year and recording the incident that was shared on social media

Chief Medical Officer Sir Chris Whitty
Chief Medical Officer Sir Chris Whitty

A man who attacked Sir Chris Whitty in a London park started singing a football song as he was led away after being jailed.

A judge criticized the “breathtaking contempt” of Jonathan Chew who started vaping in the dock at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on Thursday.

Chew, 24, approached England’s chief medical officer as he walked through St James’s Park in Westminster on June 27 last year.

Footage of the incident, lasting around 20 seconds and showing Chew alongside former estate agent Lewis Hughes, was widely shared on social media.

Appearing at court, Chew, of Chelmsford, Essex, admitted a charge of intent to cause harassment, alarm or distress to Sir Whitty as well as obstructing Pc Steven Ozden.

Chew was also criticized for his contemplation in court
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District judge Paul Goldspring jailed Chew for eight weeks and ordered him to pay £1,058 in costs and compensation.

Mr Goldspring told the defendant: “Your contemplate for these proceedings and this court have been breathtaking throughout the process.”

It came after the judge interrupted proceedings to order Chew to stop vaping in the dock.

Chew also responded to the costs announcement by saying: “That’s peanuts” and began singing “West Ham ’til I die” as he was led out of the dock.

Mr Goldspring condemned the defendant for targeting Sir Chris who had responded to “an unprecedented crisis over the last few years” with “great dignity” and “great professionalism”.

“He didn’t choose to be in the public eye. He is entitled to go about his work. He is entitled to go about his daily life,” Mr Goldspring added.

Jonathan Chew attacked Sir Chris Whitty in a London park
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“You targeted him, in the sense that you recognized him from the TV,” he said.

The judge said he gave Chew “full credit” for pleading guilty at the first opportunity to the charge of intent to cause harassment, alarm or distress.

He also said he accepted Chew did not initially intend to be hostile and suffered from learning difficulties, mental health issues and autism.

However, he added: “You had a significant, I go as far as to say, an appalling criminal record.”

During the hearing, prosecutor Iestyn Morgan said that Chew started filming Sir Chris on his phone while Hughes grabbed him in a headlock.

In the footage, shown to the court, the pair can be seen jeering as Sir Chris attempted to break free.

Jonathan Chew began singing a football song after he was jailed
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The court then heard how Chew gave the name and old address of his brother Aaron Chew to the police officer.

“This did cause a waste of police resources,” Mr Morgan said, adding that police attended the address on July 1 to discover another man legally now lived there.

Officers were later able to identify that Jonathan Chew was the suspect after he provided comments about the incident to The Sun newspaper, the court heard.

Mr Goldspring also said that Sir Whitty suffered “the added humiliation of the recording being forwarded and uploaded”.

Rabah Kherbane, defending, argued that Chew has learning difficulties, “intellectual difficulties” and “delayed maturity” and often becomes “frustrated” when trying to communicate with others.

Hughes, 24, of Romford in Essex, earlier pleaded guilty to a charge of assault by beating and was sentenced last July.

He was handed an eight-week prison sentence, suspended for two years, and was ordered to pay a total of £307 in fines and compensation.

He was labeled “yobbish” by Mr Goldspring and was criticized for leaving Sir Chris “humiliated” after putting him in a headlock.

Chew was handed an eight-week custodial sentence for attempt to cause harassment, alarm and distress and two weeks for wilful obstruction of a police office to run concurrently.

He was also ordered to pay £1,058 in costs and compensation.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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