Man accused of assaulting Chris Whitty put on electronic tag until trial

Jonathan Chew, 24, is accused of assaulting Chris Whitty, with a video having gone viral in which the Chief Medical Officer is grabbed around the shoulders

Jonathan Chew
Jonathan Chew has been put on an electronic tag

A man accused of assaulting Chris Whitty has been put on an electronic tag.

Jonathan Chew, 24, stands accused of assaulting the Chief Medical Officer and obstructing a police officer at an antivax march he attended alongside pal Lewis Hughes on June 27 last year.

The pair allegedly spotted the respected medic, grabbed him around the shoulders and yelled “oi,oi” as they poked their tongues out at the camera.

A video of the pair went viral on social media and led to widespread revulsion. Chew denies the charges against him.

Chief Magistrate Paul Goldspring told Chew he had “concerns” he was not actually living at the address in Brentwood, Essex, he gave the court as there had been repeated problems establishing his address at earlier hearings.

Jonathan Chew attends Westminster Magistrates Court


Martyn Wheatley / i-Images)

He interrupted the proceedings multiple times, including to say prosecution evidence was “all a lie, man”



At the hearing at Westminster Magistrates Court on Tuesday, Chew said he had not been given papers and evidence the police said they had served on him at his address, which they captured on body worn video.

He will now be monitored on an electronic tag between 9pm and 4am until his trial on January 27.

His trial was put off for a second time because his lawyers were not given paperwork until 10 minutes before the hearing started.

Chew, who has a diagnosis of ADHD, autism, conduct disorder and a sleep disorder, was criticised for his behaviour when he last attended court by video link in his dressing gown.

A video shared on social media shows Chew and a pal interacting with Chris Whitty



The Chief Medical Officer looks extremely concerned as the two men grab him round the shoulder

As he sat outside the dock in blue jeans, a grey t-shirt and a mask on Tuesday, his behaviour had improved but he did still interrupt proceedings.

He interrupted to say prosecution evidence was “all a lie man”, said “naaah” when asked to give his phone number to the court at the end of the hearing and was once again told he would have to leave if his behaviour did not improve.

Chief Magistrate Paul Goldspring told him: “You may have gathered I am very reluctant to adjourn your case.

“You have a right to a fair trial and eventually the court’s patience may not be in your favour.

Whitty has become more recognisable due to regular TV appearances during the pandemic


Getty Images)

“I have concerns, because the police have concerns, that you are not actually living at the address you say you are living at, and you will now be monitored on an electronic tag between 9pm and 4am.”

Earlier, Chew’s lawyer Rabah Kherbane claimed his client’s learning difficulties may impede his ability to understand and follow proceedings, but that claim was rejected by the chief magistrate.

The judge said Chew had shown a “remarkable” understanding of complex legal matters at earlier hearings.

Prosecutor Sam Trefgarne told the court the trial could go ahead today because the case against Chew was “evidentially very straightforward” and captured on video, but his plea was ultimately rejected.

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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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