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Defendant 'rugby-tackled by judge'

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, is said to have wrestled Paul Reid twice as he ran out of the judge's door at Woolwich Crown Court last August.

Jurors were told Reid, 34, had escaped from another court two years before, and that he made his desperate bid for freedom after giving evidence in his trial.

"One thing stood between Paul Reid and freedom - the judge trying his case," said Rupert Gregory, prosecuting.

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

Mr Gregory 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. Together they went down three steps and then Mr Reid broke free and ran down the judge's corridor.

"The judge gave chase. Just as Mr Reid was about to open a push-handle fire door, HHJ Marks Moore rugby-tackled him around the throat and waist and brought him crashing to the ground, landing on top of him."

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

The trial was unexpectedly adjourned before witnesses could be heard after Judge Jeremy Roberts told the jury that the defence had not seen all the papers in the case.

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