Marquess of Queensberry, 94, reveals he fought off mugger with judo move near west London home

David Douglas and a Judo Instructor (Getty Images)
David Douglas and a Judo Instructor (Getty Images)

The 94-year-old Marquess of Queensberry has told how he defeated a mugger with a judo throw near his west London home.

David Douglas, a retired ceramics professor who is trained in judo and served in the Royal Horse Guards, said he managed to stop the six-foot attacker with his moves when he attempted to steal his wallet last year.

His great-grandfather, the ninth Marquess of Queensberry, John Douglas, is known for codifying boxing’s rules - but it was judo that helped ward off this particular assailant, he told The Times newspaper.

The 5ft 4in retired ceramics professor said: “A guy down the road gave me some trouble about a year or so ago.

“He was trying to rob me. He was all over me with his hands. I did manage to throw him — a type of judo throw — which sent him backwards.”

The Marquess added that the attacker was “definitely” after his wallet.

The peer said he trained at Sekine’s club in Hammersmith, and achieved his brown belt - one below a black belt - in the 1960s.

Douglas, who succeeded to the Marquisate in 1954, has kept out of the public eye after the deaths of two of his children.

His son Milo Douglas died by suicide in 2009 at the age of 34, and his daughter Beth Shan Ling died in 2018 at 18 after taking heroin and cocaine.

His great-grandfather, the 9th marquess, is known for sponsoring the "Queensberry Rules” of boxing, which banned wrestling and spiked shoes.

The rules were to eventually govern the sport worldwide.

He is also known for his role in the conviction of Oscar Wilde for gross indecency, which occurred after Wilde lost a libel case against him for comments he made about following a relationship with his son, Alfred.

The evidence from the libel case was then sent to Scotland Yard, where it formed the basis of the gross indecency charge.

As a hereditary peer, the 12th Marquess was entitled to sit in the House of Lords until 1999, where he spoke during the passage of laws which enabled same-sex relations.

He later said he had been delighted to associate his family with a liberalising measure because the Queensberry name “had become so associated with the way Oscar Wilde was pilloried in 1895”.