UK: Three years in prison for man who threw radiator at judge!

UK Law Society Jnl

man has been jailed for three years for assaulting a judge during a hearing in a family court case in an incident which raised national concerns about court security.

His Honour Judge Patrick Perusko was reportedly ‘pinned down’ and repeatedly punched in the head by a man who cannot be named. The father of two children involved in the case threw a radiator at the judge at Milton Keynes Family Court, the Daily Telegraph reports today.

It involved an incident in November last year, during which Judge Perusko was forced to leave the court twice amid verbal abuse from the 41-year-old businessman.

Tessa Donovan, prosecuting assault charges, said that when the judge returned for a third time and again made the decision to leave, the defendant ‘picked up a laptop on the desk as well as an electric radiator’.

Donovan said: ‘The defendant pursued His Honour and caught up with him as he moved past District Judge Nutley [in the court offices]. The defendant pushed the judge to the corner of his room. He pinned him down. He punched him a number of times to the head.’

The defendant was later arrested. He was jailed for three years by Mr Justice Goss at Southwark Crown Court (pictured above) on Wednesday for assault occasioning actual bodily harm, criminal damage and for using threatening or abusive language in a separate incident against Recorder Dharmesh Patel, after taking ‘umbrage’ with a decision that judge made in July last year.

The incident caused questions to be asked about the security arrangements in court when the judge was attacked. One court user has told the Gazette there have been concerns about the situation at Milton Keynes for some time.

A spokesperson for HM Courts & Tribunals Service described the event as ‘shocking’ and said the service had ‘remained in contact with Judge Perusko throughout’.

‘Incidents like this are extremely rare. We take the safety of our judges and court staff very seriously and are now urgently reviewing the circumstances. It would be inappropriate to comment further at this stage’, HMCTS added.

Attacks on judges in England and Wales courtrooms are rare, with just one reported case in recent years. In 2013, the brother of a man who had just been sentenced attacked the judge and knocked off his wig at Ipswich Crown Court. He was later jailed for 18 months after admitting contempt of court.