At an event in London last July protesting the imprisonment of Stephen Yaxley Lennon, who styles himself Tommy Robinson, al-Jazeera journalist Sonia Gallego was verbally abused by one of the protesters. The protester was then discovered to have attended more than one previous similar gathering, and had been caught on camera shouting “Traitor” at an officer of the Metropolitan Police.
Bill Eve - sorry, gammon's off today
His name was Bill Eve, and what was worse for him was that he and wife Lorraine ran the Bank restaurant in the Elm Park district of Hornchurch. The adverse publicity began almost immediately. Then it got even worse: Bill Eve was charged with using threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour to cause harassment, alarm or distress. The prosecution also attempted to prove that there was a religious element to his abuse.
Fortunately for Eve, he got off the religiously aggravated part. As Press Gazette has told, “A Tommy Robinson supporter who hurled abuse at an Al Jazeera journalist has been cleared of a religiously aggravated offence after telling magistrates he has a ‘little’ Muslim friend … A video played at City of London Magistrates’ Court showed Eve accusing the reporter of being ‘Muslim-backed’, asking if she is ‘fucking stupid’ and calling her ‘a slag’”.
But he wanted the world to know that he was the victim in all of this. After reading “The court heard Eve is now ‘sofa surfing’ due to marriage troubles, while his wife’s business, the Bank Restaurant in Hornchurch, east London, has suffered after the footage was posted on Twitter”, comes his apologia. Which should convince no-one.
Here’s his sob story: “I don’t want to cause anyone any harm, I really don’t and the saddest thing is I have been accused of being racist, and even worse is the things that this whole thing has caused … I don’t live at home anymore because of this, my wife’s business has been demolished because of this, because Ms Gallego thought it would be good to put this incident up on Twitter”. It was someone else’s fault.
But the reason Ms Gallego filmed the incident was down to Eve’s aggressive and confrontational behaviour. As PG notes, “The court heard Gallego was reporting on the ‘Free Tommy Robinson’ rally in Whitehall on 14 July last year when she was approached by Eve demanding to know who she was with”. She added “An alarm bell went off and I wanted to film it for my safety”. Also, Eve would do well to remember one thing.
The court could only judge on the evidence put before it. They did not see his incoherent and threatening verbal assault on Mohammed Hijab, colleague of Ali Dawah, at a previous Lennon event. They did not see him calling a Police officer a “traitor”. Because if film of those incidents had been admitted as evidence, he wouldn’t have got off the religiously aggravated part. And he might have been fined rather more.
Bill Eve has discovered that actions have consequences. Sadly, he’s not yet understood that it’s his own fault that his wife kicked him out, her business got screwed, and he ended up with a criminal record. Playing the victim works for Stephen Lennon, but not for him.
Something for the Wall Of Gammon™ to ponder today in Manchester.
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