Judge tackles sex offender who fled court

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

Judge Douglas Marks Moore wrestled Paul Reid twice as he ran out of the judge's door at Woolwich Crown Court last August. Reid, 34, who had escaped from another court two years before, made his bid for freedom after giving evidence in his trial, jurors heard.

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.

"Mr Reid broke free and ran down the judge's corridor. The judge gave chase [and] rugby-tackled him around the throat and waist and brought him crashing to the ground."

Mr Gregory added: "There is only one reason why a Crown Court judge would rugby-tackle a defendant to the ground – because he is trying to escape."

Reid, originally from south London, denies escaping from Inner London Crown Court and attempting to escape from Woolwich Crown Court. The trial continues.