Murdoch pie-thrower gets 6 weeks behind bars

Jonathan May-Bowles arrives at Westminster Magistrates' Court in London to be sentenced Aug. 2, 2011. AP Photo

Updated at 11:50 a.m. ET

LONDON - An activist who hit Rupert Murdoch with a shaving foam pie as the mogul testified to British lawmakers has been sentenced to six weeks in jail but is expected to serve only half of his sentence.

Jonathan May-Bowles pleaded guilty last week to assaulting the 80-year-old media tycoon as he gave evidence to the House of Commons Culture, Media and Sport Committee in July.

Special Section: Murdoch in Crisis
Murdoch pie-thrower convicted of assault in U.K.
Murdoch hit with apparent foam pie at hearing

Defense lawyer Tim Greaves said the part-time standup comic intended to make a statement "in the least harmful way possible."

"Slapstick and throwing pies dates back to the 1900s as a recognized form of protest," he said.

(At left, watch Jonathan May-Bowles being hauled away by British police after throwing a foam pie at Rupert Murdoch)

But district judge Daphne Wickham criticized May-Bowles for disrupting "a parliamentary process, which as you know conducts itself with dignity and in a civilized fashion."

Handing down the sentence at London's City of Westminster Magistrates' Court, the judge said she took into account the fear of injury felt by Murdoch, who could not have known what was in the foam pie.

She said May-Bowles would serve half the sentence and ordered him to pay 265 pounds ($430) in penalties and costs.

Comments

Watch CBSN Live

Watch CBS News anytime, anywhere with the new 24/7 digital news network. Stream CBSN live or on demand for FREE on your TV, computer, tablet, or smartphone.