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Murdoch pie protester in appeal

A comedian who threw a foam pie at Rupert Murdoch has immediately launched an appeal as he was jailed for six weeks, insisting the assault was designed to voice "widespread revulsion" over the phone hacking scandal.

Jonathan May-Bowles, 26, was imprisoned after he admitted assaulting the 80-year-old media tycoon as he gave evidence to the House of Commons Culture, Media and Sport Committee.

May-Bowles, also known by his comedy stage name "Jonnie Marbles", disrupted proceedings by launching a paper plate of shaving foam at Mr Murdoch on July 19.

After he was sentenced at City of Westminster Magistrates' Court in central London, his legal team promptly launched an appeal. They maintain that the punishment handed down by district judge Daphne Wickham was too severe, although she said that he will only serve three weeks in jail.

The judge condemned his actions in interrupting the evidence Mr Murdoch was giving to the committee, which she said was "of huge importance" to many people.

The judge said she took into account the fear of injury felt by Mr Murdoch, who could not have known what was in the pie.

Prosecutor Malachy Pakenham said May-Bowles smuggled the foam pie into the building hidden in an old shirt.

May-Bowles, of Edinburgh Gardens, Windsor, Berkshire, admitted assault and causing harassment, alarm or distress at a hearing on Friday.

The appeal will probably only be dealt with after he has served his sentence, defence counsel Tim Greaves said.

Mr Greaves told the court: "He intended to express how he was feeling and how he believed the British public were feeling, and he sought to do that in the least harmful way he could."

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