29th March 2019

John Murphy admitted egging Corbyn during his visit to an Islington Mosque on 3 March 2019. As he threw the egg, Murphy repeatedly shouted “respect the vote”. He was charged with an offence of assault by beating (an offence involving the application of unlawful force to another) following the incident, where he pleaded guilty and told the Magistrates sentencing him that he was “perfectly happy to go to jail” as his punishment.

The sentencing Magistrates commented that Murphy had “attacked our democratic process” when sending him to custody. The starting point for the Court in sentencing an offence of this nature, for a person of good character following a guilty plea, would be to consider imposing a fine or Community Order. Whilst it is impossible to comment on the fairness of Murphy’s sentence without all of the information before the Court, this sentence does appear to be excessive compared to the Sentencing Guidelines – a document which provides a framework for Courts in sentencing most offences, and is binding unless it would be “contrary to the interests of justice” to follow the suggested sentence.

When passing sentence, Magistrates commented “attacks on MPs must stop. The message must go out”, clearly highlighting that an example was being made of Murphy.

Blog by Sophie Cohen, Criminal Defence Solicitor