Barrister who raped Tinder date and then laughed jailed for four years

·5 min read

Graphic warning: This article contains references to rape that some may find distressing

Robin Jacobs, 39, had anal sex with a woman without her consent in September 2017 after meeting her on Tinder. (Reach)
Robin Jacobs, 39, had anal sex with a woman without her consent in September 2017 after meeting her on Tinder. (Reach)

A barrister who laughed after forcing himself on his Tinder date has been jailed for four years for rape.

Robin Jacobs, 39, angrily shouted "I didn’t do it" from the dock after he was found guilty at the Old Bailey.

The court heard that Jacobs and the woman had had consensual sex but he then told her to "hold steady" before unexpectedly initiating anal sex, prompting her to tell him to stop twice and scream "get out".

He eventually stopped after 20 to 30 seconds, then muttered to himself that he "shouldn’t laugh" before chuckling.

Jacobs, from South Woodford, east London, disputed the woman’s account and denied he engaged in the sex act without having a reasonable belief that she consented to it.

Jacobs was found guilty after a retrial at the Old Bailey. (Reach)
Jacobs was found guilty after a retrial at the Old Bailey. (Reach)

The court heard he has autism spectrum disorder (ASD), which the jury was told can lead to some people misreading social signals but was not relevant in his understanding of consent.

A jury failed to reach a verdict after an initial trial in August, but Jacobs was found guilty of rape by a majority of 10 to two after a retrial at the Old Bailey.

As he was convicted and jailed, he shouted: "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."

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The court heard Jacobs and the victim had met through Tinder in the summer of 2017 and went on to have consensual sex at the barrister's house in South Woodford, London.

They exchanged "sexually suggestive" messages, including discussing a threesome, and met again when he helped her move some boxes, but only had a cup of tea.

On their third date on 17 September, 2017, they had pizza and wine for lunch and then went back to Jacobs’ house, where they initially had consensual vaginal sex.

A general view of the Old Bailey, London.   (Photo by Sean Dempsey/PA Images via Getty Images)
Jacobs was convicted by a majority after a retrial at the Old Bailey. (Getty)

In a videoed interview played in court, the woman described what happened next, saying he told her to “wait a minute” before forcing himself on to her.

"I told him to stop twice and he did not. I screamed ‘get off’, then he stopped and he did move away," she said.

"At that point I was just face down. I did not know what to do with myself, in quite a lot of pain.

"He told himself twice that it was not funny, he shouldn’t laugh. After the second time, he did laugh."

She went to the bathroom and got dressed while Jacobs appeared “astonished” that she was upset and “bewildered”.

She said: “He asked me if I was going to report it to the police. He asked me if he would see me again, and then he also offered me paracetamol."

The victim, who said she had been left with "flashbacks" after the incident, added: "There was no discussion, absolutely no warning, there was no touching, foreplay, warning. There was nothing. It was literally he made a decision and that’s what he did."

She was examined at a specialist sexual assault clinic and found to have a fresh laceration measuring 2.5cm by 2mm which experts said would have been inflicted with "at least moderate force".

She reported the incident to police but when arrested, Jacobs disputed her version of events.

During his retrial, he told jurors: "It would have been perfectly adequate when I had done it on previous occasions with other partners."

Asked how often he had attempted anal sex with a woman without saying he was going to, he said: "I think it’s about seven that I can remember. At least four come to my mind", adding that he could not recall how many women had declined.

He also denied the suggestion he failed to stop when asked repeatedly, adding: "Certainly I knew immediately there was a problem. It’s like I say, nothing like that had ever happened to me before during sex. It was a shock."

He claimed the woman was "forward" and "bawdy from the get-go" and it was not just him initiating everything in the brief relationship.

Jailing Jacobs for four years, Judge John Hillen KC said he had taken "absolutely no steps" to ensure the woman had consented to anal sex before he started.

He said: "That was not only a failure of courtesy, politeness and care. That failure was a criminal act."

The judge noted Jacobs’ "exemplary character" and said he took no moral view of his lifestyle.

But he added: "Sexual activity in your case with many partners of both sexes risks the possibility that you might overstep the boundaries and that is what happened.

"Those boundaries as you now realise as an intelligent man are obvious, particularly in respect of penetration of the anus. That is an exceptionally intimate act, you recognised that in your evidence.

"You did not pause to check if (the woman) was one such person who might think it unacceptable."