Sheffield robber threw water at judge

Ajay Rowding
Ajay Rowding
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An armed robber who threw a cup of water across a courtroom, drenching a judge and clerk, has been jailed for three months for contempt of court.

Ajay Rowding hurled the cup from the dock at Judge Peter Kelson as the judge sentenced him at Sheffield Crown Court.

The court had been told robbers burst into a family’s home and threatened Clare Foster, her husband Steven and their 15-year-old daughter and nine-year-old son during an hour-long ordeal.

Rowding, formerly of Wincobank, threatened to slit the children’s throats and kill the family dog and slice heavily pregnant Mrs Foster’s baby from her stomach and cut its throat.

He and his accomplice, Kallum Flowers, both aged 23, threatened to tie up the family overnight and chop off the children’s fingers.

Judge Kelson said it was a ‘very, very serious’ offence and jailed the men for 12 years each with a further five years on licence.

But as he was delivering his remarks, Rowding threw the cup of water. He was brought back before the same judge to be dealt with for contempt of court.

Julian Goode, for Rowding, said: “A cup of water was thrown in your honour’s direction. Some of that water made contact with your honour. He is extremely remorseful for those actions. His actions were affected by the frustration of the sentence he received. It was in the heat of the moment.

“He wants to express his sincere apologies.”

The barrister said there was nothing similar in previous case law and urged the judge to make any punishment concurrent as he had just begun serving a lengthy sentence.

Judge Kelson told Rowding: “You threw a plastic cup of water across the court. The water reached the clerk in front of me and she was very wet. It reached the electrical equipment and keyboards and reached me.

“It was a further manifestation of the violence that is within you and it showed great discourtesy to the court.”

He jailed Rowding for three months on top of the 12 years he is serving.