It was most alarming to read about the convicted rapist who leapt over the dock and made his escape before any of the security staff could detain him. 

This, of course, could not have happened at any of the more central courts, where they take the precaution of imposing a glass screen between the accused and the body of the court.

I suppose we all have memories of this sort of thing. I recall residing in Bath County Court during a family trial when I was about to order the removal of the last young child of a most inadequate mother. 

She looked at me, saw what was coming and fled the court. She disturbed a couple awaiting trial outside, rushed into the street and boarded a local bus, closely pursued by a probation officer. 

On the journey to Twerton he managed to persuade her to return and face the inevitable, while we all twiddled our thumbs back at base. It taught me always to expect the unexpected.

John Greenwood
Retired recorder, Chippenham, Wilts