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Ex-Falkirk MP Eric Joyce sentenced for assaulting two teenagers

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Media captionFormer Fife MP Eric Joyce is found guilty of assaulting two teenage boys in a grocery shop

Former Falkirk MP Eric Joyce who was convicted of attacking two teenagers in an "unjustified and unprovoked" assault has been sentenced.

The 54-year-old was found guilty of two counts of common assault against the boys, aged 14 and 15, in a food store in north London, in October 2014.

One boy had been knocked to the floor, Westminster Magistrates' Court heard.

Joyce was sentenced to a 10-week jail term suspended for two years. He said the sentencing was a "fair outcome".

The former Labour MP was ordered to pay a £1,080 fine and must attend a rehabilitation course which aims to reduce violent behaviour.

District Judge John Zani said: "The events in October 2014 did you no credit.

"Your reaction to what you perceived was happening in the shop was entirely unacceptable."

Image copyright Met Police
Image caption Prosecutor Jonathan Swain told the trial that it was an "unjustified and unprovoked assault"

Joyce was filmed assaulting the teenagers close to the drinks refrigerator in News & Food Express in Chalk Farm at about 21:40 BST on 17 October.

The court heard he threw the 14-year-old boy to the ground and held him by the throat.

The boy's friend tried to rescue him but was elbowed by Joyce and winded.

Prosecutor Jonathan Swain told the trial that it was an "unjustified and unprovoked assault".

The judge said Joyce had underplayed the violence he had used against the boys, only calling the police in an attempt to justify his actions.

The "citizen's arrest" defence he had put forward, lacked credibility, especially when compared with the store's CCTV footage, the judge said.

He told Joyce the evidence against him was overwhelming.

During sentencing, the judge acknowledged Joyce's attempts to overcome his drinking problem and urged him to restrain himself from violence.

Joyce was convicted in 2012 of four common assaults in a House of Commons bar, which led to his resignation from the Labour Party.

He was fined £1,500 for breaching the peace at Edinburgh Airport after being "threatening and abusive" on 19 May in 2013.

Speaking after sentencing, Joyce said: "In the end it was a 14-year-old boy and that is a shame and a cause of considerable remorse and I have to both pay the price and make sure I don't do it again."

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