A magistrates’ courtroom sat in darkness today after a ceiling breach led to water gushing into the well of the court. Courtroom six at Reading Magistrates Court sprung a leak after a hole developed on Tuesday afternoon. 

Plaster could be seen strewn across one of the benches in the court and the carpet under the door leading into it had turned a dark blue as water seeped out across the floor.

The sound of running water could be heard loudly from a room set aside for use by the Youth Offending Team situated directly next to courtroom six.

It is understood that an unoccupied flat sits above that court, which is the furthest along the eastern wing of the building, and water appeared to be coming from piping connected to the flat.

Previous building work was said to have been undertaken on the ceiling of courtroom six, leaving sources at the court to question how effective the previous repairs had been as water cascaded onto the floor.

Courtroom six was due to hear the trial today of a man accused of possessing a knife, using threatening or abusive language, assault by beating and a racially aggravated public order offence. It is not known if the trial had to be adjourned due to the hole in the roof but the court sat empty just after lunchtime.

In one of the neighbouring court rooms, the cloud video platform technology stopped working shortly after the hole was discovered. A hearing scheduled to take place by CVP had to be moved to a different court.

Technicians were working on the issue which it was suspected could have been connected to the water damage in court 6.

A HMCTS spokesperson said: 'Two rooms at Reading Magistrates’ Court have been temporarily closed due to flooding from a burst pipe. We’re urgently working on repairs to reopen the site as soon as possible.'


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