The man who beat his way to the opera escapes with a rap on the knuckles

Peter Williamson, a retired doctor who beat his taxi driver with a walking stick for fear he’d be late for the opera, walked out of court in London a free man yesterday.

The magistrate slapped him with a £200 compensation order and £165 costs.

Dr Williamson, 71, said he had acted in self-defence. His counsel said he was being treated for cancer.

The cab driver needed stitches.

The opera was Puccini’s Fanciulla del West at Holland Park.

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  • I’m not surprised. A barmy woman attacked me with an umbrella once, when walking behind me out of St Martin’s Lane station. “Get out of the way! We’re going to opera! You wouldn’t understand!” she brayed, scattering passers-by with brolly-blows.

    Wagner Society members. You can spot them a mile off.

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