London judge rugby-tackled sex offender


A judge rugby-tackled a sex offender to the ground to prevent him escaping from court, the Old Bailey has heard.

Judge Douglas Marks Moore, 60, grabbed Paul Reid at Woolwich Crown Court last year, the court heard.

Reid, who had allegedly escaped from another court in 2008, tried to flee after giving evidence in his trial, jurors were told.

The 34-year-old, who had been jailed for two years for indecent assault, denies escape and attempted escape.

In December 2008, Reid was given an indeterminate sentence, with a minimum term of two years, at Inner London Crown Court.

'Slipped handcuff'

He was taken to Brixton Prison but returned to the same court 10 days later for an ancillary matter.

As he left the court he managed to escape from the security officer by slipping the handcuff off his wrist and running out of a fire escape.

He was recaptured but made a second escape bid at a hearing at Woolwich Crown Court last August, the court heard.

The main door to the court was locked for security reasons but the doors to the judge's corridor and jury room were unlocked for safety reasons.

Rupert Gregory, prosecuting, said: "The jury were just leaving when the defendant jumped up and ran across the clerk's bench to get to the judge's door.

"As he went through the door his honour Judge Marks Moore grabbed him round the throat to try to bring him down."

After falling down three steps together Reid broke free but the judge gave chase.

As Reid was about to open a push-handle fire door, Judge Moore rugby-tackled him around the waist and brought him crashing to the ground, landing on top of him.

Mr Gregory told the court: "There is only one reason why a Crown Court judge would rugby-tackle a defendant to the ground - because he is trying to escape and the judge is the only person in any position to prevent that escape.

"The only thing preventing Paul Reid from pushing that fire door to the outside world was a judge in a wig and full robes."

When interviewed by police Reid told officers the judge told him he could go home, the court heard.

The case continues.

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