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Suspect smashes his way out of courtroom

A man facing assault charges has escaped after smashing his way out of a Manchester courtroom.

21 year-old Owen Roche escaped police custody from Minshull Street Crown Court on Thursday when he forced his way through a plastic security screen and ran from the dock before fleeing the premises. He was being escorted at around 1700 GMT into court five by G4 Security personnel (aka G4S) when he made the escape.

A search has commenced and police officials have urged members of the public not to approach Roche should they encounter him. Roche, a resident of Moss Side, has not been seen since the incident occurred.

The dock in which the suspect escaped from was designed for prisoners who are not ‘high-risk’. Docks for high-risk prisoners are fully enclosed and deemed secure, whereas the one in which Roche was able to escape from had only a simple plastic screen to stop defendants from jumping the barrier.

A spokesman for G4S said that security officers had tried to restrain the defendant but he was able to break free amid the struggle. He went on to say that the officer had suffered minor injuries and that no further comment could be made other than the matter was now in the hands of police.

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