Man jailed for racially abusing judge

A Bristol man has been jailed for racially abusing a top city judge within seconds of coming into court.

Security staff pulled Timothy Legge from the courtroom after he launched a vile tirade at district judge Tony Woodburn.

Legge was facing legal action over the grim state of his council flat in the city when he was brought before Bristol County Court on July 24.

Using racially aggravated language, he called Judge Woodburn a “c**t” and a “b*****d” and had to be removed by court security.

The case continued in his absence and Legge was found to be in breach of an interim order imposed during long-running injunctive proceedings brought by Bristol City Council. He was handed an eight-week jail term suspended for 12 months for this breach.

At a later hearing to deal with his language towards the judge, held on September 3, Legge was handed ten days in prison after admitting contempt of court.

Bristol County Court was told how Legge, who has a hoarding disorder, resorted to the extreme abuse because he was “stressed”.

Jailing the pensioner, judge Barry Cotter, QC said: “It would be, in my view, serious if a judge were to be referred to as either ‘a b*****d’ or ‘a c**t’ by a person attending a court.

“But the racial element must take this into a different category. It is wholly unacceptable that any person, even more a person in public service, should receive racially aggravated abuse.

“It is important the courts of this land operate and anyone attending at them can do so without fear of this type of abuse.”

Legge appeared before Judge Woodburn in July in long-running legal proceedings brought by Bristol City Council over the state of his Barton House flat.

He reportedly failed to abide by an ‘acceptable behaviour contract’ and called a female housing officer a ‘f*****g vile s**g’. In April, he spat in the face of a mental health worker and branded him a ‘bent b*****d’.

In mitigation, Legge’s solicitor Ms Barrett said he was “very sorry and wishes that what had happened, had not happened”.

County court laws mean the maximum sentence for misbehaving in a courtroom is just 28 days. A similar offence in a crown court could carry a sentence of up to two years.

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