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Brexit supporter admits stealing Eddie Izzard's pink beret during pro-Europe march

Eddie Izzard chased David Czerwonko down Whitehall after his beret was snatched. Credit: PA

A Brexit supporter who snatched Eddie Izzard's pink beret off his head during a pro-EU rally told a court he didn't recognise the famous comedian.

Izzard was forced to give chase in high heels after David Czerwonko, dressed in black with a bandana covering half his face, took the hat at the march in Whitehall on September 3.

The Leave supporter was pinned to the floor by police officers as Izzard retrieved his beret but it was taken away by police as evidence.

Chef Czerwonko, 26, from Brentford, snatched the garment when he blocked the demonstration with three other masked men.

The march for Europe was one of a series of rallies across the country on the anniversary of the outbreak of the Second World War, demanding a pause in Brexit after the June 23 EU referendum.

Eddie Izzard referred to a group of Brexit supporters as 'masked and dangerous' before his beret was snatched. Credit: PA

Prosecutor Amanda McCabe said the pink beret, which had UK and EU badges pinned to it, was of unknown but sentimental value to Izzard.

She said: "The march was well-attended, there were thousands of other people taking part.

"Mr Izzard was at the head of the march. A group of four masked men stood in front of the march with a large banner supporting the Brexit campaign."

Referring to the group, the prosecutor said Mr Izzard said: "This is the face of Brexit: masked and dangerous."

Czerwonko, who has lived in the UK for two and a half years, approached Izzard and grabbed the garment, the court heard.

Tobi Olu-Iyiola, defending, told Westminster Magistrates' Court Czerwonko did not know that the man with the pink beret was Izzard, and did not attend the march with the intention of causing trouble.

She said: "He just noticed a pink beret and grabbed it and ran off with it.

"He said it was an instinctive and silly reaction... something he won't be repeating again."

Chair of the bench Robin Westlake acknowledged that "there was not a great deal of planning, it was a fairly spontaneous reaction and the beret was recovered".

Czerwonko was fined £185, and ordered to pay a £30 victim surcharge and £85 court costs.