Barrister who raped woman he met on Tinder jailed for four years

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By William Holmes on

Educational law specialist Robin Jacobs must register as a sex offender for life

A barrister has been jailed for four years after a jury found him guilty of raping a woman he had met on the dating app Tinder.

On 17 September 2017, Robin Jacobs, 39, was engaging in consensual intercourse with the woman when he withdrew himself and told her to “hold steady” before unexpectedly initiating anal sex. He continued doing this for 20-30 seconds after the victim had screamed “get out”, the Old Bailey heard.

Jacobs then stopped and whilst the complainant lay on the bed in front of him, reportedly said, “it’s not funny, I shouldn’t laugh” before chuckling to himself. He then told the woman, in her 30s, to “come for a cuddle” and offered her paracetamol.

The victim told police that Jacobs had “forced his penis into my anus and I told him to stop twice and he didn’t. Then I screamed ‘get off’ and he stopped but he didn’t move away”. Her impact statement revealed that she had undertaken counselling, been on medication and taken two months off work following the incident. She describes how she felt that she had “no control over her life” and her trust of people has been affected as well as suffering “a degree of humiliation”.

The barrister was jailed for four years and must register as a sex offender for life following a week-long retrial.

During cross-examination by the prosecution in the first trial, Jacobs contended that the words “hold steady” had been “perfectly adequate [warning] when I had done it on previous occasions with other partners”. In the re-trial, he recounted how he had attempted anal sex with a woman without an advance verbal warning at least four times.

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The court heard that the barrister, who specialises in educational law, has autism spectrum disorder (ASD) which means he can have difficulty reading social signs.

Jacobs, who was called to the bar in 2006, had been on two dates with the woman prior to the incident and the couple had bonded over their work with disabled children.

On hearing that the jury had found him guilty by a majority of 10-2, Jacobs broke down into tears and yelled: “I didn’t do it. I didn’t do it. I was telling you the truth. I could have lied but I told you the truth. Oh my God.”

Judge Hillen — who described Jacobs as “a man of good character, of exemplary character” with “a high standing in his profession” — remarked that he was satisfied on the evidence that Jacobs did genuinely believe the victim would consent but “that belief was unreasonable, wholly unreasonable in the circumstances”.

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