Nicholas Watt: Man denies public order breach in BBC reporter chase

  • Published
Police at 14 June protestImage source, Reuters
Image caption,
There was a heavy police presence for the protest

A man has denied breaching the public order act after a BBC journalist was chased and shouted at during an anti-lockdown protest near Downing Street.

Christopher Aitken, 62, from Brixton, south London, pleaded not guilty to using threatening, abusive or insulting behaviour intending to cause distress.

Footage showed demonstrators confronting Newsnight's political editor Nicholas Watt on 14 June.

Mr Aitken was released on conditional bail ahead of a trial on 29 November.

Image caption,
Nicholas Watt has not been called as a witness to the trial

Mr Watt, who was confronted as crowds had gathered in Westminster to protest the government's extension of lockdown restrictions in England by four weeks, has not been called as a witness to the trial at Westminster Magistrates' Court.

A second man, Joseph Olswang, 38, who has been charged with common assault, is due to appear at the same court on 17 August.

A third man, Martin Hockridge, 57, previously appeared at the same court charged with using threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour with intent to cause harassment, alarm or distress. He denies the charge and was given conditional bail.

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