Robed, bewigged judge rugby-tackles prisoner

LONDON Tue Mar 8, 2011 6:23pm GMT

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LONDON (Reuters) - A judge sporting full robes and a wig rugby-tackled a sex offender to the floor to prevent him from fleeing the court where he was on trial, the Press Association reported on Tuesday.

Judge Douglas Marks Moore, 60, wrestled with 34-year-old Paul Reid as he tried to escape from Woolwich Crown Court in London.

"The jury were just leaving when the defendant jumped up and ran across the clerk's bench to get to the judge's door," said prosecutor Rupert Gregory.

"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, Marks Moore rugby-tackled him around the throat and waist and brought him crashing to the ground, landing on top of him.

"He held him there, struggling and protesting, until the prison officers managed to catch up, secure him and return him to custody," Gregory added.

"The only thing preventing Paul Reid from pushing that fire door to the outside world was a judge in a wig and full robes."

Reid, who denies he was trying to flee court, had already pulled off a similar escape from a London court two years earlier.

The incident involving the judge happened last year and was being described in the Old Bailey court on Tuesday.

(Reporting by Michelle Martin; Editing by Steve Addison)

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