Alexander Peat in court over incident in Whitehall last year
Nick Watt (left) being chased by anti-lockdown protestors. Picture: Resistance GB/YouTube
A man from Putney accused of being part of a mob that terrorised BBC reporter Nick Watt has appeared in court this week.
34-year-old Alexander Peat of Felsham Road is denying a charge of using threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour with intent to use harassment, alarm or distress along with four other defendants.
The case is being heard at Westminster Magistrates Court and relates to an incident in Whitehall in June 2021 in which the BBC Newsnight editor had to flee while being chased and abused by anti-lockdown protestors who were calling him a traitor and accusing him of being part of the 'mainstream media.
The other accused are Djazia Chaib-Eddour, 44, Christopher Aitken, 62, Martin Hockridge, 58, and Gary Purnell, 45. The prosecution has accused the five of engaging in mob rule and deliberately trying to intimidate Mr Watt persisting in following him even when it was evident he had become uncomfortable with the situation.
Mr Watt told the court that the experience, in which protestors shouted directly into his face until he was forced to flee, left him very shaken.
He added, 'I had become their prey, their quarry. It was like hunting a vulnerable animal.'
District Judge Louisa Cieciora has reserved her decision to a date to be decided. In the meantime, the defendants including Mr Peat were bailed and told they must return to court for the next hearing.
Like Reading Articles Like This? Help Us Produce More
This site remains committed to providing local community news and public interest journalism.
Articles such as the one above are integral to what we do. We aim to feature as much as possible on local societies, charities based in the area, fundraising efforts by residents, community-based initiatives and even helping people find missing pets.
We’ve always done that and won’t be changing, in fact we’d like to do more.
However, the readership that these stories generates is often below that needed to cover the cost of producing them. Our financial resources are limited and the local media environment is intensely competitive so there is a constraint on what we can do.
We are therefore asking our readers to consider offering financial support to these efforts. Any money given will help support community and public interest news and the expansion of our coverage in this area.
A suggested monthly payment is £8 but we would be grateful for any amount for instance if you think this site offers the equivalent value of a subscription to a daily printed newspaper you may wish to consider £20 per month. If neither of these amounts is suitable for you then contact email@example.com and we can set up an alternative. All payments are made through a secure web site.
One-off donations are also appreciated. Choose The Amount You Wish To Contribute.
If you do support us in this way we’d be interested to hear what kind of articles you would like to see more of on the site – send your suggestions to the editor.
For businesses we offer the chance to be a corporate sponsor of community content on the site. For £30 plus VAT per month you will be the designated sponsor of at least one article a month with your logo appearing if supplied. If there is a specific community group or initiative you’d like to support we can make sure your sponsorship is featured on related content for a one off payment of £50 plus VAT. All payments are made through a secure web site.
July 1, 2022