A houseboat owner who is the sworn protector of a swan dubbed ”Mr Asbo” has been fined after he challenged Cambridge rowers to a cage fight.
Robin Middleton, 55, known locally as ‘Battleship Bob’, has become embroiled in a long-standing dispute with rowers on the River Cam.
Middleton, of Fen Ditton, Cambridge, challenged a crew of eight rowers to a ”cage fight” before he jumped into the river and grabbed their vessel on June 30.
He was found guilty of a public order offence at Cambridge Magistrate’s Court and has now been ordered to pay costs of £200 and carry out 40 hours of unpaid work.
Jeff Lewis, mitigating, said: ”Mr Middleton’s behaviour was the result of the cumulative ‘dripping tap’ effect of a lot of unwarranted and loutish behaviour directed towards him.
”Requests have been made in the past for rowers to leave Battleship Bob alone.”
Chairman of the bench Paul Heavens said: ”It is not acceptable to take things to the level that you took them.
”There are occasions when you are going to have to bite your lip and accept some of this provocation.”