Quick-thinking reporter stops defendant escaping court

INS News Agency journalist Philip Case found himself in the middle of a court drama when he wrestled to the ground a prisoner who fled from the dock after being refused bail.

A court official shouted: ‘Stop that man’and Case leapt into action – and with the help of a lawyer, caught the 21-year-old escapee and put him in an armlock.

Case was leaving a neighbouring court room at Guildford Crown Court in Surrey when he became caught up in the drama.

The reporter spotted fugitive Tristan Spencer darting down the corridor amid cries of ‘Stop him!”

The 30-year-old journalist lunged at Spencer as he ran after vaulting out of the dock. With the help of pursuing prosecutor Graham Smith and a security guard, Case wrestled Spencer to the ground, grabbed his right arm and pulled it behind his back.

Running fast

The guards cuffed Spencer’s hands behind his back while he lay face down on the floor. Police arrived quickly on the scene and led him away.

Case, who has worked at INS News Agency as a senior reporter for almost three years, said: ‘When I saw him turn down the corridor, I ran after him, jumped on his back and we fell to the ground.

‘He was struggling to get away so I grabbed his right arm and pulled it around his back. One of the guards grabbed his left hand and cuffed his hands together.”

Val Davis, a customer service assistant at the court, said: ‘I have never seen anybody run as fast as Spencer did.”

INS editor Neil Hyde said: ‘When a breathless Phil came on the phone to say he had just foiled a courtroom escape, I was amazed.

‘It doesn’t really surprise me, though. He is a very public-spirited individual – not to mention an excellent newsman. He has a strong sense of justice and would never look the other way if he saw a wrong being committed.”

Spencer, of Crofton Road, Camberwell, south London, was appearing at Guildford Crown Court on Monday to face charges of burglary and dangerous driving

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