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Hero British judge pins court escape bid rapist to the floor

By Sarah Rainey

Judge Douglas Marks-Moore took his tough reputation to a whole new level when he rugby-tackled a defendant to the ground.



Dressed in his wig and gown, the heroic judge grabbed sex offender Paul Reid as he tried to make a run for it during a trial at Woolwich Crown Court last year.

The father-of-four, from Newtownards in Co Down, tackled Reid and pinned him to the floor when he escaped from the dock and ran into a nearby corridor.

Marks-Moore (60) used his skills as a former Irish Guardsman to hold the criminal, who was nearly 30 years his junior, on the ground until security guards arrived to put him behind bars.

Reid pleaded guilty to two escape charges and two counts of rape at a retrial at the Old Bailey in London on Wednesday.

He was jailed for life after changing his plea at the last minute rather than face the Northern Irish judge for a second time.

Described in court as a "serial escaper", Reid (34) was given a minimum term of six years and three months for the rape offences.

Reid had committed the crimes against a young woman while on the run after escaping from Inner London Crown Court two years previously.

Judge Jeremy Roberts, sentencing earlier this week, praised the bravery of his fellow judge at preventing the sex offender's fourth attempt to escape from custody.

He said that Marks-Moore, a past pupil of Regent House in Newtownards and a former teacher at Gransha High School in Bangor, had "gone well beyond the call of duty".

"I am sure that the public would wish me to express their appreciation of his extremely brave and public-spirited action, going well beyond the call of duty in preventing the escape of an extremely dangerous man," he said.

Judge Roberts revealed that Marks-Moore had been injured after twice wrestling with Reid as he tried to flee the court in August 2010.

"He hurt his shoulder during the struggle but later shrugged that off when asked about it," he said.

He added that it was usual for bravery to be rewarded with a cash payment.

But he said it would not be appropriate to financially reward a fellow judge.

Marks-Moore had been ready to give evidence against Reid but was unable to attend the Old Bailey because of work commitments.

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