Rapist who jumped from court dock get more jail time
A rapist who fled from court moments after being found guilty - causing "chaos" as he escaped - has been handed an extra six months in custody.
Bradley Tout, 20, jumped from the dock at Worcester Crown Court, evading officials and security officers as he made his bid for freedom.
Appearing via videolink, he admitted a charge of escaping from lawful custody.
Sentencing, Judge James Tindal said Tout had exhibited "panic and, bluntly, cowardice" as he ran from court.
Prosecutor Paul Whitfield said Tout - who had been convicted of raping a vulnerable teenage girl - jumped from the dock on 3 October.
After going on the run for four days, Mr Whitfield said, he attended a police station with his parents to hand himself in and begin his seven-and-a-half year sentence for the rape.
'Heat of the moment'
The judge told Tout, of Durham Road, Ronkswood, he accepted the escape was unplanned.
"You were standing there, blithely expecting the jury to say 'not guilty' when they said 'guilty'.
"In the heat of the moment you bolted, you ran, you caused chaos in the court building.
"Whatever was going through your mind as the jury reached their verdict, ultimately you have to have responsibility for what you did."
Imposing a consecutive sentence for the escape, the judge said there had been "furore" around the case which was "regrettable and obscures the seriousness of the original offence".
Describing the escape, Mr Whitfield said "There was a short chase but he was not detained."
"When interviewed, he said he considered he was innocent. He had been in turmoil and said he had reacted to what was unfolding in front of him."
Abigail Nixon, defending, told the court news reports had wrongly suggested a security worker was assaulted during the escape.