32-year-old Damon Jefferies jumped from the dock of Court Nine after appearing before a judge for violating his suspended sentence in prison. It was in February of last year when Jefferies was given twelve months of jail term after his admission of controlling behavior in a relationship. The sentence, however, is suspended for two years, and part of his suspended sentence is doing 150 hours of unpaid work, a Building Better Relationships course, and a rehabilitation requirement.
Jefferies was sentenced to an additional seven hours of unpaid work after failing to attend his court-ordered unpaid work multiple times. To exacerbate the situation, he was also yet to start his Building Better Relationships course and rehabilitation, both of which are part of his suspended sentence. Judge Ambrose then activated Jefferies’ previously suspended prison sentence – six months – which prompted the man to flee from the dock of Court Nine.
There’s even a witness to the incident. A court reporter narrated how he was just doing work on his laptop when he heard a commotion and Jefferies crashed through the door. He added how the security guard failed to detain Jefferies despite the man’s efforts. He also expressed how quick and unexpected the incident was.
This wasn’t the first time someone escaped a court. Last year, a man found guilty of rape fled the Worcester Crown Court. Bradley Tout also escaped by jumping from the dock. He, however, surrendered himself after four days and began his sentence: seven and a half years in prison for rape, alongside admitting to escaping custody which earned him an additional six months of jail time.
Despite the two incidents of flight, HM Courts and Tribunal Service spokeswoman said that cases like these are extremely rare and are taken very seriously for the sake of public protection. She didn’t comment any further as a full investigation is in process.
Jefferies was last seen going to the Old Market area in Bristol.