A FORMER BBC manager from Penwortham who attacked the Respect MP George Galloway in the street has been jailed for 16 months.
Neil Masterson, 39, understood to be a former pupil at All Hallows School, left the Bradford West MP requiring hospital treatment for cuts and bruises to his head and ribs after the assault in Notting Hill, west London, on August 29.
Judaism convert Masterson, who was wearing a T-shirt with an Israel Defence Forces logo when he was arrested, told police he felt “morally justified in attacking the pro-Palestine MP because he was a “Nazi” with a shameful attitude towards Jews, Isleworth Crown Court heard.
Masterson, now of Kensington, London, admitted assaulting Galloway and common assault on a Moroccan doctor, who had been posing for a picture with the MP.
Judge Aidan Marron QC said: “While you are no longer facing a charge of religiously aggravated assault, it would be unreal to ignore that the motivation for this … was your profound hostility to Mr Galloway’s views.”
The attack on Galloway, 60, included 10 punches and a “kung-fu” kick which did not connect but caused Galloway to fall.
In a victim impact statement Mr Galloway described still being in pain and how it had left his wife and children in a “constant state of worry”.
Defending, Jonathan Mann said while politically opposed to Mr Galloway it was “a very bad piece of coincidence” that put him in the same street as the MP.
He said: “Masterson realises now that there is no excuse for violence. He is not a man who is filled with hate. It is very much the opposite of the person that he is.”
After his sentence Masterson, thought to have studied at Cardinal Newman College, has been offered a place on a Kibbutz in Israel where he plans to spend up to a year doing voluntary work.
A woman who he is a carer for posted on his Facebook profile: “He is a very kind and decent man who obviously felt he had to do what he did.”