Ex-councillor's wife tells of abuse

THE wife of a former Conservative councillor jailed for sex offences said her family has been to "hell and back" since the court case, suffering verbal abuse, graffiti and hateful phone calls.

By Juliette Maxam

THE wife of a former Conservative councillor jailed for sex offences said her family has been to "hell and back" since the court case, suffering verbal abuse, graffiti and hateful phone calls.

Michael Robinson, a former Tendring district councillor, was jailed for two-and-a-half years after he admitted a string of sex attacks against four women who worked at his new age and body-piercing shop.

Robinson was sent to prison at a hearing at Chelmsford Crown Court on Friday, where he pleaded guilty to two indecent assaults and four sexual assaults.


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Yesterday, Jan Robinson, who separated from Robinson seven years ago but has continued to run Igigi, in Eld Lane, Colchester, with him, spoke of the backlash she and her children have suffered as a result of the court case.

"We feel embarrassed to even walk down the street. There's all this stigma around us. We have been to hell and back, all of us," she said.

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Mrs Robinson has been subject to a number of attacks since details of her husband's crimes came out.

She said the word "Pervert" had been sprayed outside the shop, people had accused male members of staff of being "that pervert", there had been anonymous abusive phone calls and press cuttings had been handed out to people outside.

She said her grown-up son and daughter had been left feeling "devastated" by the situation.

Mrs Robinson said it was a shock to the whole family when her husband was arrested last year.

"I had no idea what was going on at all," she said.

A member of staff told Mrs Robinson about the situation and said the rest of the workers were about to hold a meeting to decide what to do when one of the assistants went to the police.

"I sat there with my mouth open in total disbelief. I phoned my daughter. She just sobbed," said Mrs Robinson.

"We are all convinced Mike's mentally ill. Our concern is what help is he going to get inside?"

Six years ago, Robinson was jailed for four years for sex offences he committed on staff and customers at Igigi.

"Last time we honestly believed he was innocent so we were supportive. Now we know he's not innocent," said Mrs Robinson.

"Staff that were here then were all aware of what was going on and they're still here. They said: 'Jan, we want to say we are fully behind you and we'll support you to the end.'"

Mrs Robinson said she had worked hard to get the business in order again, picking it up from how her husband left it when he was remanded in custody. "We've got brilliant plans and we're all very excited," she added.

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