A former student who threw eggs at the King before shouting “friends with Jimmy Savile” has walked free from court after being found guilty of threatening behaviour.
Patrick Thelwell shouted “the King is a paedophile” after throwing “at least five” eggs towards Charles during a walkabout in York last year.
The 23-year-old had pleaded not guilty to a Section 4 public order offence, arguing his use of “low level violence” was “lawful” as it was self defence against “the violence carried out by the British state”.
On Friday, the chief magistrate, Senior District Judge Paul Goldspring, found the defendant guilty of the charge, saying Thelwell “intended to cause King Charles to believe immediate unlawful violence would be used against him”.
He also ordered the defendant, who said he had now given up his studies, to pay £600 court costs and £114 surcharge at a rate of £5 per week.
The King and Queen Consort had arrived in the city on November 9 to unveil a statue of the late Queen at York Minster, and were being welcomed by local dignitaries at Micklegate Bar when Thelwell threw five eggs which “came very close to hitting King Charles,” York Magistrates’ Court heard.
Prosecutor Michael Smith said Thelwell was identified quickly and removed from the crowd before being detained on the ground and arrested.
Thelwell later said his protest had been “worth it”, telling reporters outside court: “If that’s what I had to do to get this platform then yeah.”
Asked if he would do the same again, he joked: “No comment. Although the Coronation’s coming up in May isn’t it?”
During his trial, he was stopped by the judge from asking a police witness whether he “was aware the King was photographed numerous times with Jimmy Savile”, a reference to the disgraced TV presenter.
Judge Goldspring told him: “Whether or not the King was photographed with Jimmy Savile has no relevance to this trial at all.
“I’m afraid I won’t allow you to ask questions about your perception of the King’s past.”
The court was shown body camera footage of Thelwell’s arrest, in which he could be heard shouting: “I threw eggs because that’s what he deserves. It’s the only justice the victims of colonialism will ever get.”
The defendant also said: “Did I get him? I didn’t get him. Next time someone will get him.”
Another video played on the phone of one of Thelwell’s supporters showed him saying he had thrown the eggs for “all the people who died so that man can wear a crown, someone who was best friends with Jimmy Savile”.
The defendant laughed as he confirmed to the judge that he had made those comments, at one point saying: “I couldn’t have put it better myself.”
Police Constable Adam Steventon, who arrested Thelwell, told the court he was standing about 10 yards away when he “became aware of a commotion”.
The officer said he saw one of the eggs being thrown and climbed over the barrier to detain Thelwell, who was being restrained by plain-clothed police officers and members of the public.
“I recall him shouting several times, ‘f*** the King’. I believe he shouted ‘the King is a paedophile’ or words very close to that,” PC Steventon told the court.
The officer said people in the crowd were “angry” at Thelwell, and described one man shouting “something like, ‘you’ve ruined this for everybody’”.
The court heard another egg fell out of Thelwell’s pocket as he was being arrested.
Asked by Thelwell, Pc Steventon said he did not remember the crowd “pulling (his) hair out” or shouting that his head should be put on a spike.
The court was shown footage of Thelwell arriving at Fulford Road police station in York and saying: “I can’t believe that didn’t smash, I’ve had an egg in my pocket the whole time.”
Another CCTV clip from the police station showed a police sergeant commenting on Thelwell’s “large soled” shoes, saying: “I could do with some of those, make me taller.”
Thelwell replied: “I know, it’s so I can see him through the crowds,” and made a throwing gesture.
The court heard he later signed his custody record: “F*** the King.”
Reading a statement in his own defence, Thelwell said he “acted out of necessity” in the face of “crimes against humanity by the British state”, including climate policy, austerity and the sale of weapons to Saudi Arabia.
Thelwell said he had been contacted by “thousands of people” saying they “would do the same thing, and will” if the King visits their area in the future.
In cross examination by Mr Smith, Thelwell said he admitted throwing the eggs amounted to “low level violence” but said it was “lawful violence” and that “all people have the right to self defence” when they “are under threat of violence of the system”.
“The way the UK conducts its climate policy amounts to genocide because they know millions of people will die as a result of their actions,” he said.
Thelwell, who started doing star jumps in court before meeting with probation to discuss his sentence, told reporters after his sentencing he was “relieved not to be going to prison” but did not regret his actions.
Speaking on the court steps, he said: “There wasn’t a jury at this trial but I hope my jury are the people of Earth and I hope that people make their own minds up whether or not they think, whether as some people have said, they should bring back the death penalty and hang me, or whether we should start looking at how we can create a better world.
“I hope (throwing the egg) has started a conversation.”
The court heard the conviction put Thelwell in breach of a conditional discharge he had been given following an Extinction Rebellion protest in 2019, when he obstructed a highway after taking part in protests blocking newspaper printing presses. The judge made no separate penalty for the breach.
Thelwell told the court he had been unable to claim universal credit since giving up his studies, and did not have a job as he “thought he was going to prison”, but was hopeful of finding work in the near future.
Thelwell has previously said in an online blog that he is an Extinction Rebellion activist who stood as a Green Party candidate for York City Council.