Mum throws sunglasses at judge

A courtroom outburst during which an irate mother threw her sunglasses at a judge — and only narrowly missed — can now be revealed.

Judge Kevin Phillips had just declined Tania Lisa Robinson’s son bail in the Dunedin District Court on February 16, keeping him behind bars for more than a month pending his sentencing.

The 44-year-old jumped out of her seat as the defendant was being led back to the cells.

"*** you," she said.

Then she hurled her sunglasses at the judge.

The distance from her seat, in the front row of the public gallery, to Judge Phillips’ elevated position was about 10m.

She missed him by less than a metre and the eyewear landed beside his desk.

Robinson appeared in court later that day facing assault charges but Judge Dominic Flatley suppressed her name and all the circumstances of the allegations.

Yesterday she was back, this time before Judge John Macdonald, and there was no application to have the orders continued.

Despite the close call with the makeshift projectile, Judge Phillips did not flinch, primarily because he was immersed in the paperwork from the preceding case.

By the time he looked up, Robinson was on her feet with another man letting fly a barrage of four-letter words.

A police officer quickly waded through the public gallery and shepherded the woman towards the cells as Judge Phillips hastily retired to his chambers.

That was not the end of the drama though.

On the way, she struck lawyer Brian Kilkelly, who had represented her son.

Robinson was charged with two counts of common assault.

A police summary of facts read in court stated she hit Mr Kilkelly with an open hand in the neck or shoulder area.

He suffered discomfort but no long-term effects, it said.

When spoken to by police, Robinson initially denied the latter assault but she was apologetic for targeting the judge.

Yesterday she pleaded guilty to both charges.

Her lawyer Steve Turner said his client had some "issues about how she controls her impulses and her anger" and he hoped for a sentence that would address that.

He said at least one of the victims was open to a restorative-justice meeting with the defendant and the hearing was adjourned for that to be arranged.

Probation will also interview her in the meantime.

A 25-year-old man who left the courtroom firing a volley of expletives during the same incident was arrested on the street outside court half an hour after Robinson.

He was subsequently charged with disorderly behaviour.

The man was unimpressed with being handcuffed and detained in the back of a police car.

"You guys are creating a *** enemy," he said.

Robinson will be sentenced in two weeks.

rob.kidd@odt.co.nz

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