United Kingdom

Pro-Palestine trade unionist jailed after fighting Jewish barrister in Hampstead political pub row

A pro-Palestine trade unionist has been jailed for his part in a pub 'revenge attack' that left a Jewish Tory barrister with a broken nose and torn retina.  

Ex-school caretaker and artist Dennis McNulty, 60, punched 63-year-old intellectual property rights specialist Tim Ludbrook, knocking him unconscious, at the King William IV Pub, Hampstead in 2018.

The pair had clashed verbally over their opposing political views, leading to McNulty being described as a 'Hamas-loving b*****d,' by the lawyer.

Today, a jury found father-of-three McNulty guilty of inflicting grievous bodily harm with intent at court.

Ex-school caretaker and local artist Dennis McNulty (pictured), 60, was jailed today after repeatedly punching 63 year-old intellectual property rights specialist Tim Ludbrook

McNulty and Mr Ludbrook met inside the busy King William IV pub in Hampstead High Street on August 3, 2018 - where the pair traded blows over their polarised political opnions.

The lawyer admits lunging at McNulty inside the pub: 'He knew he got me, a Tory barrister to react badly. 

'He enjoyed that, but it is intolerable to have racially-charged behaviour inflicted upon you.

'On that occasion I let it get the better of me.'

GMB union activist McNulty was ejected by pub staff, but attacked Mr Ludbrook outside in nearby Heath Street as the lawyer sat on a bench. 

'My nose was broken in two places and I was very lucky not to lose the sight in one eye,' the lawyer added.

'I will forever see him in that moment for the rest of my life. It is as clear as day, seared on my memory.

'There he was, bearing down at me and moments later he was striking me around the head from both sides and I don't recall anything else until I came around. '

The lawyer concedes calling McNulty a 'Hamas-loving b*****d,' inside the pub, but insists this was after an evening of intimidation by the defendant.

There was a heated exchange over the Gaza strip and Israel's treatment of Palestinians, with McNulty's temper rising when the barrister revealed he was Jewish. 

The pair clashed verbally inside the busy King William IV pub in Hampstead High Street on August 3, 2018, because of their opposing political views. Pictured, 63-year-old intellectual property rights specialist Tim Ludbrook

'He was introduced to me as an ardent member of the Labour Party and I am well-known for being on the other side of the political spectrum,' said Mr Ludbrook.

'He told me he was a senior official in a tradesunion and I told him if I went on one of his marches then he would have to come on one of mine for Jacob Rees-Mogg.'

Speaking at Isleworth Crown Court today, Judge John Dennis told McNulty he was previously regarded a 'man of not only good character, but a character that benefited a large number of individuals'.

The judge continued: 'Something happened that night to cause you to lose your temper quite badly.

'After being thrown out of the pub you got the assistance of your sons and another person and went on a revenge attack that resulted in very serious injuries to Mr Ludbrook.

'He suffered a severely fractured nose and a torn retina that needed emergency surgery to save the eye.' 

The lawyer concedes calling McNulty a 'Hamas-loving b*****d,' inside the pub (pictured), but insists this was after an evening of intimidation by the defendant

Mr Ludbrook added: 'He was swearing about the Tory government and intended to try and inflame the situation with his language and said: "You can't support those f***ing c****".

'He must have thought I was supporting them because I am a Conservative and I told him: 'Yes, I am Jewish and a supporter of Israel.'

'It was like lighting a blue touch paper and he said: 'It's always you f***ing people, you're always the problem.'

'He said he was going to show what kind of f***ing person I was on social media and started recording with his phone.

'The really aggressive stuff started when he goaded me into revealing my ethnicity. He's obviously got some view about Jews.' 

McNulty always denied hitting the complainant over three separate trials and claims Mr Ludbrook would sarcastically greet him with: 'Power to the people,' but the lawyer denied this.

He also denied McNulty's claim he said: 'We need to get rid of the Palestinians. I want gas chambers built to get rid of them all.' 

Judge Dennis told McNulty: 'During the discussion in the pub you became quite irate on the subject of Hamas and Mr Ludbrook being Jewish.

'You were affected by what was said and your goading of Mr Ludbrook was sufficient for him to lose his temper and he jumped up and had to be restrained and you had to be restrained.

'There was a religious background to this and you were provoked.'

An earlier trial cleared McNulty of a charge of religiously-aggravated threatening behaviour.

'On a the positive side I treat you as a man of good character and you come to the court as a relatively elderly defendant, who can say they have spent most of their life out of trouble,' added the judge.

'I put in your favour your record of good public works as a school keeper and forty years of work in the union, helping the weak and vulnerable.'

McNulty's lawyer James Partridge told the court he also has a daughter Michelle, 39, and began his trades union activity when employed as a printer, fighting the move from Fleet Street to Wapping in the 1980's.

He has assisted people with claims against their employers based on sex and racial discrimination. 'He says he has been standing up to racism all his life,' said the lawyer.

McNulty will serve two-thirds of the sentence, six years, before he is considered for parole.

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