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”.
Today (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”.
The judge sentenced Thelwell to a 12-month community order with 100 hours of unpaid work for the “unprovoked, targeted and pre-planned use of violence against what was, after all, a 74-year-old man”.
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 9 November to unveil a statue of the late Queen at York Minster, and were being welcomed by the Lord Mayor of York David Carr and other dignitaries at Micklegate Bar when Thelwell threw five eggs which “came very close to hitting King Charles,” the court heard.
All the eggs missed. Police quickly moved into the crowd and made an arrest while the King and Camilla were ushered through the gateway to meet dignitaries and well-wishers.
Prosecutor Michael Smith said Thelwell was identified quickly and removed from the crowd before being detained on the ground and arrested.
Thelwell, who defended himself at the trial, posed outside court with a painted egg sign held by one of around ten supporters. Other signs said: “Did you vote for him?” and “Justice for Patrick. Justice for All.”
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”, 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 defendant also asked Detective Constable Peter Wilson if he thought throwing eggs “is more or less serious than the violence carried out by the British state”.
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.”
Police Constable Adam Steventon, who arrested Thelwell, told the court he was standing about ten 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, who gave his address as Wentworth College at the University of York, 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.
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.