[T]he chairman of “Brexit” Vote Leave Cumbria has appeared in court, after an altercation with a 79-year-old man in Carlisle City centre which occurred during Brexit campaigning in Carlisle.
John Stanyer, 52, of Wallace Lane Farm, Brocklebank, Wigton, Cumbria, appeared at the North and West Cumbria Magistrates Court in the city and pleaded guilty to assault by beating.
District Judge Gerald Chalk was told the victim was a supporter of the remain campaign and was wearing their emblazoned tee/shirt, he noticed a Gazebo from the leave supporters and went over to have a look.
It was as Stanyer was carrying boxes and leaflets from his car to the gazebo the court was told the pensioner “swiped” some leaflets from a table onto the floor.
Trouble flared on the stall of the leave campaigners on June 19 during a debate on “Brexit” only days before the EU referendum vote, the assault took place on English Street, Carlisle on the Sunday morning, Stanyer is also a former chairman of UKIP for Penrith and the Border Branch and a Cumbrian businessman.
When Stanyer saw the leaflets thrown onto the floor he “just lost it” Malcolm Dodds defending told the court. It was an impulsive reaction, he punched the man in the face and the pensioner fell to the floor.
The elderly man went to hospital and was discharged a few hours later.
Stanyer apologises to the victim and the court it was in the “heat of the moment” he is a decent man and very public spirited and well thought of, over 20-friends and supporters attended court, and a raft of character references were handed to the judge to read.
The Judge fined John Stanyer £500 with court costs of £85 and compensation of £200 to the victim, the defendant was told you are a much younger and a larger man than the victim, there may have been minor provocation, but this was out of character, in this country we have political debate without violence Stanyer was told.