Falkirk MP Eric Joyce avoids jail after admitting House of Commons assault

Eric Joyce appeared in court today
Eric Joyce appeared in court today

Eric Joyce has been sentenced to a 12-month community order after admitting four counts of assault.

The 51-year-old was charged following a row in the Strangers’ Bar in the House of Commons on February 22.

In addition to the community order he will face a three-month curfew and is banned from entering any bars during that time.

He was also fined £3000 and was ordered to pay £350 compensation to each of his victims.

Mr Joyce admitted assault charges and one count of assault by beating at Westminster Magistrates Court this morning.

The former soldier headbutted the Conservative MP for Pudsey, Stuart Andrew, in the Strangers’ Bar.

The Falkirk MP also attacked Tory councillors Luke Mackenzie and Ben Maney, and Labour whip Phil Wilson, who represents Sedgefield.

Westminster Magistrates Court heard the 51-year-old later told police: “You can’t touch me, I’m an MP.”

Mr Joyce was held at a central London police station for several hours before questioning during which time he broke a window pane.

He told officers he had drunk “three or four glasses of wine”.

Jeremy Dein QC, defending, said Joyce wished to expresses his “shame and embarrassment”.

“He is unreservedly apologetic for what occurred on the night in question,” he told the court.

The judge said he would not be imposing a custodial sentence.

He was suspended from the Labour Party following the incident, pending the results of the court case.

Earlier this week Mr Joyce vowed to continue as Falkirk’s MP whatever the result of the case.