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Home   Canterbury   News   Article

Whitstable man Jonathan Elliott admits charging at Prince Charles's car at Archbishop of Canterbury enthronement

21 March 2013
by Danny Boyle

Scene of chaos as police surround protester ahead of the Archbishop of Canterbury's enthronement.

Police surround Jonathan Elliott near Prince Charles's car ahead of the enthronement. Picture: Joel Tennant.

by Gerry Warren

An anti-cuts protester has today branded the royal family "parasites" after admitting lunging at a car carrying Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall in Canterbury.

Jonathan Elliott, of Sydney Road, Whitstable, pleaded guilty to causing a breach of the peace this morning after charging at the royal Rolls Royce - believing it contained Prime Minister David Cameron.

Canterbury magistrates ordered the 47-year-old be bound over - an order to keep the peace - for a year.Jonathan Elliott charged at Prince Charles car

Jobless Elliott, who asked to be called Dude when he was in the dock, wore a red t-shirt bearing the words: "I'm afraid and therefore unquestioningly obedient".

The royals were arriving in the city for the enthronment of the new Archbishop at Canterbury Cathedral when Elliott charged at the vehicle in Northgate at about 2.20pm.

Elliott (pictured right) was arrested at the scene and spent the night in custody before appearing in court this morning.

Julie Farbrace, prosecuting, said there had been a police presence at the Kings School rear entrance to the cathedral.

A police officer saw Elliott handing out leaflets waiting for the Prime Minister to arrive for the ceremony.

Ms Farbrace said officers saw him make a clear run at a vehicle and he was detained "as it was believed he posed a threat to himself and others".

After the hearing, Elliott described David Cameron and the royal family as "parasites".

He said: "I was on the path and then found myself in the road with a load of policemen on top of me.

"I assumed Cameron was in the car, but a police constable moved me out the way and searched me and I was getting pretty agitated.

"i didn't know prince charles was in the car and had no intention of hurting anyone - i'm not a violent person..." – protester jonathan elliott

"It all happened so fast. I didn't know Prince Charles was in the car and had no intention of hurting anyone - I'm not a violent person.

"I was angry at David Cameron, but I saw the Royal Family as second best.

"All I wanted to do was put a leaflet on the car. They should be aware that it's affecting us.

"People at the bottom are being hard hit and they are disconnected.

"Basically they are all parasites and call people like me skivers."

Elliott said he felt "agitated" after being searched by police as he handed out leaflets, adding: "That kind of peed me off."

Video: Jonathan Elliott explains why he charged at the royal car

Elliott will have to pay a fine of £100 if he is found to breach the peace in the next 12 months.

Rocco Marinaccio, defending, said Elliott received both incapacity and disability benefits and asked magistrates for a "modest" bind over sum.Scene of chaos as police surround protester ahead of the Archbishop of Canterbury's enthronement.

Jonathan Elliott lunges at the royal car before being bundled into a police van. Picture Joel Tennant

Police at the scene of an arrest at the enthronement of the Archbishop of Canterbury today.

The dramatic scenes came ahead of the installation of the 105th Archbishop of Canterbury.

Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall were among around 2,000 people attending the enthronement of the Most Reverend Justin Welby.

A group of protesters had been holding a demonstration against attendee Prime Minister David Cameron and government cuts around the gates of the cathedral.

Witnesses saw Elliott race towards the vehicle before police tackled him.Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall arrive at Canterbury Cathedral moments after a protestor charged at their car.

Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall arrive at Canterbury Cathedral moments after a protestor charged at their car. Pictures: Barry Goodwin

Joel Tennant, 22, a student from the University of Kent, was outside the gates of The Kings School when the drama unfolded.

He said: "One anti-government protester attempted to jump in front of his car. Several policemen rushed to the scene.

"From then non-uniform officers kept him on the ground until it was safely inside the gates.

"About 10 minutes later a police van arrived, at which point police picked him up off the ground in handcuffs and put him in the van."

It came as more than 100 protesters gathered outside the cathedral to demonstrate against government cuts.

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