Hampstead man jailed for pub 'revenge attack' on Jewish Tory barrister

Hampstead's Dennis McNulty arrives at Isleworth Crown Court

Hampstead's Dennis McNulty arrives at Isleworth Crown Court. He has been jailed for an assault in Heath Street in 2018 - Credit: UK Law News

A 60-year-old Hampstead man has received a nine-year prison sentence for an attack on a Jewish Tory barrister after a row at a High Street pub.

Trade union activist and former school caretaker Dennis McNulty, 60, shattered the nose of lawyer Tim Ludbrook, 63, and tore the retina in his eye after the argument in the King William IV pub, Hampstead High Street on August 3, 2018.

At Isleworth Crown Court on Friday the father-of-three was convicted by a jury of inflicting grievous bodily harm, with intent.

Lincoln’s Inn intellectual property rights specialist Mr Ludbrook was knocked unconscious as he sat outdoors in the early hours in nearby Heath Street.

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

“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.”

Mr Ludbrook suffered heavy bruising and swelling to his head and face, lingering pain, headaches and dizziness, plus lifelong cranial nerve damage, which causes sudden burning-like shooting pains.

“Before this incident you were properly regarded as a man of not only good character, but a character that benefited a large number of individuals and had a dedication in your life to help others via the union,” Judge John Dennis told McNulty.

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“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.”

Witnesses described seeing either an umbrella or baseball bat, but nobody else has been prosecuted and McNulty’s sons, Ross, 28 and Connor, 25, did not give evidence.

The King William IV pub

The King William IV pub - Credit: Polly Hancock

The victim and defendant were loosely associated socially, with McNulty, of Streatley Place, Hampstead, who is also known as a local artist, and Mr Ludbrook both regulars at live music nights at the pub.

The court was told there had been a heated exchange over the Gaza strip and Israel’s treatment of Palestinians.

“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 trades union 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.”

Somebody in Mr Ludbrook’s group brought up the subject of the Gaza Strip and McNulty began criticising Israel, the lawyer told the court.

He said: “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.

“It was not a sensible thing I said to him about being a ‘Hamas-loving bastard’, but I’d had enough.

“I lunged toward him, I lost my temper, I suppose I wanted to grab him by the throat, but someone else came in between us."

The lawyer admitted lunging at McNulty inside the pub saying:  “He knew he got me, a Tory barrister, to react badly. He enjoyed that, but it is intolerable to have this racially-charged behaviour inflicted upon you.

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

Prosecutor Margia Mostafa told the jury McNulty had goaded Mr Ludbrook asking: “Are you Jewish? You’re Jewish aren’t you?

“I’m going to f*** you up you c***. You’re Israeli.”

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

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

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

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

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 before he is considered for parole.