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Judge who popped out of court for sandwich ‘rugby tackled’ to floor by litigant

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Assailant has now been sentenced to five months for bruise-inducing assault

A litigant has been sentenced to 20 weeks in prison after he assaulted a judge, causing bruises and scratches. Taking the whole thing remarkably well, the circuit judge said the incident was something that “goes with the territory” of the job.

Judge Robin Tolson likened the assault to “an unexpected rugby tackle you didn’t see coming”, The Times reporting the aggrieved divorce litigant had run across the road, collided with the judge and knocked him against a shop front and then the floor. Again according to the report, Kevin Robinson, the 44-year-old defendant, then rolled a cigarette and said: “Finally, I’ll get a new judge then.”

The assault took place last month outside the Central Family Court near Chancery Lane station, the site for a number of celebrity divorces including: singer Cheryl Tweedy, Mr Bean actor Rowan Atkinson, heiress Petra Ecclestone, ex-footballer Ryan Giggs and celebrity chef Heston Blumenthal. Tolson had been hearing Robinson’s divorce case for a number of years before the October run-in, which Robinson claimed was an accident. He was found guilty of assault by beating at Highbury Corner Magistrates’ Court.

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Tolson was made a circuit judge when Chris Grayling was Lord Chancellor, having been a silk at St John’s Chambers in Bristol.

Readers may remember him as the judge who presided over Owens v Owens, a case involving a divorce petition made by a woman in her late sixties on the grounds of unreasonable behaviour. She said her husband suffered mood swings which caused “distressing” and “hurtful” arguments between them. Tolson said this was not good enough to amount to unreasonable behaviour, describing the petitioner’s allegations as “minor altercations of a kind to be expected in a marriage”. The couple still remain married; the case is now pending in the Supreme Court.

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13 Comments

Anonymous

Disgusting behaviour by the litigant. Glad his defence was rejected.

Anonymous

Bring back the wig?

Anon.

Embarrassingly tenuous reference to celebrities worked into that article. Heat magazine wannabe King strikes again.

Anonymous

KK can’t resist mentioning celebrities. She’s like celeb obsessed Avid Merrion

Anonymous

Surely a picture from Waterboy would have been appropriate

Anonymous

Let’s see if he gets overturned in the supreme court before we start throwing stones at the litigant…just in case he is a poor judge with the wrong attitude who creates a huge amount of stress for people.

Scrooge McDuck

Just because a judge’s decisions gets overturned on appeal doesn’t mean that he or she is someone “with the wrong attitude who creates a huge amount of stress for people.” Even a trainee could tell you that. You must be one of those primary school teachers who turn up in the comments section now and then.

Anonymous

Daily “Enemies of the People” Mail reader, perhaps.

Anonymous

Let’s see. We don’t have the sort of journalist who tells us how it went for him in the court of appeal.

Ordinarily I would agree with your observation, but in your glee to troll me did you notice what the substantive point of the supreme court of appeal is about ? We want to gather enough data to dismiss the idea that this Judge is pompous and incompetent for the role he has.

Notice that he was a provincial silk beforehand and that he had been hearing the divorce for years.

Provincial silks are not known for being the salt of the earth, on the one hand, on the other, if the case was taking years, why ? You say “certainly not because he was incompetent or pompous”. Let’s see how the supreme court and the barristers concerned address his conduct on a different case.

I am not a primary school teacher, but I could teach primary school teachers to be judges in two months.

Anonymous

So if his decision in the Supreme Court is overturned then the litigant could be forgiven for assaulting him in the street? Ridiculous observation. I wouldn’t want to be a judge being taught by you! The majority of the courses would likely be self defence classes.

Anonymous

Perhaps the Judge should try and become a better person and then being assaulted would not come with the territory. It seems, then, that judges need self defence classes because of how they conduct themselves now.

Your reasoning and attitude seems to chime with that of a provincial silk. Do I have the pleasure…?

My primary school teachers would be a different class of people altogether. We are talking hours, not years. Well reasoned judgments that cut the long queue for the appeal courts.

Anonymous

The fact you are attempting to justify retaliatory attacks on a Judge of this country because of his poor attitude to cases is an absolute disgrace. You should be ashamed.

Anonymous

Oh dear. Is that the full force of your intellect? A primary school teacher would have the patience and dexterity to run rings round you. No wonder I am so sure of my unconventional judicial training programme.

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