Court crackdown

Liverpool Crown Court

Liverpool Crown Court

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SECURITY has been ramped up at Liverpool Crown Court after a Wigan paedophile pulled a knife in the dock.

A major inquiry was launched following the dramatic stand-off in July when Mark Jarrett threatened to stab himself after being found guilty of child sex offences.

And now all visitors to the Queen Elizabeth II buildings are subjected to a far more rigorous scannings, friskings and searches.

One visitor told the Wigan Evening Post: “Everyone has long had to go through the scans and take anything metal out of their pockets.

“But there has been a noticeable upping of the ante of late.

“Guards have been looking in people’s hair and even checking their coffee cups for concealed weapons.

“It’s a bit over the top if you ask me, but I suppose you can’t be too careful.”

It has not been disclosed how 43-year-old Jarrett, of Frog Lane, Wigan, managed to smuggle the blade into the courtroom in July.

He had been on bail when he appeared for sentencing and CCTV footage has shown him passing through the metal detector at the entrance without triggering it.

After being found guilty of four sex attacks on a 16-year-old boy, a distressed Jarrett suddenly produced the craft knife and threatened to commit suicide.

He shouted over at the jury “you’ll have blood on your hands” and held the blade to the left side of his throat.

The court was hurriedly cleared and police spent 40 minutes calming down the agitated convict as he stood at the far side of the glass-fronted secure dock.

He was eventually persuaded to put the weapon down and as he moved towards the dock exit was detained and handcuffed.

He has been remanded in custody until September to enable psychiatric and probation reports to be prepared, but is not to face a separate prosecution for the courtroom incident.

A spokesman for Her Majesty’s Courts and Tribunals Service said today: “HMCTS takes the issue of security within courts extremely seriously and has a rigorous system in place, including mandatory bag searches, bag scanners, metal detectors and surveillance cameras, to ensure the safety of all court users.

“Following a security incident at Liverpool Crown Court in July a full investigation was undertaken and appropriate changes to procedure have been implemented.”