Former Falkirk MP Eric Joyce in court

Former MP Eric Joyce denies he assaulted two teenagers
Former MP Eric Joyce denies he assaulted two teenagers

Former Falkirk MP Eric Joyce attacked two teenagers in an “unjustified and unprovoked” assault, a court has heard.

He allegedly assaulted the boys, both aged 14 at the time, in a north London food store last October.

At Westminster Magistrates Court today Joyce denied two counts of common assault by beating.

One of the youths was knocked to the floor after he tried to pass the 54-year-old politician in a narrow aisle, the court heard.

Prosecutor John Swain said “an exchange took place” after which Joyce grabbed the teenager and wrestled him to the floor.

Mr Swain added: “It was an unjustified and unprovoked assault on both these young men. It did not warrant the level of violence demonstrated.”

The court was told that Joyce continued to hold one of the teenagers by the neck as he lay on the floor, before asking the shopkeeper to call the police.

As his friend tried to help, he was elbowed in the chest and winded, but it allowed the other boy to escape.

Police arrived at the scene shortly afterwards and the boys were stopped from leaving.

Joyce told the officers that one of the boys had been aggressive and headbutted him.

The incident was captured on CCTV which was shown in court.

Joyce formerly represented Falkirk as a Labour member and later as an independent, but announced in 2012 that he would not seek re-election in May.

The case continues.