A rapist bolted from court seconds after being convicted, sparking a police manhunt.
Bradley Tout, 20, was unanimously found guilty at Worcester Crown Court on Wednesday of raping a teenage girl, but leapt a three-foot high wall as his relatives shouted “he’s innocent”.
After reportedly crashing into a wall, Tout fled the building via the court atrium.
He passed astonished jury members, lawyers, court staff and reporters on his way.
“At one point a large prison officer came up from the cells but ran the wrong way as one of the barristers shouted ‘go right!’,” local paper, the Worcester News, reported.
Private security firm GeoAmey said its guards were on duty at the time of Tout’s escape and that one of its employees “sustained injuries”.
“We can confirm an escape from Worcester Crown Court by a male offender after a decision was made to remand him in custody,” the company said in a statement.
“A GeoAmey custody officer attended hospital after sustaining suspected broken ribs during a fall whilst chasing the suspect.”
No police officers were present within the court at the time.
Tout was on Thursday sentenced in his absence to seven-and-a-half years in a young offenders’ institute for the crime. His co-defendant, Kulin Odedra, 28, was sentenced to 11-and-a-half years in prison for his role.
West Mercia Police confirmed a hunt for Tout continued.
Officers described him as white, 5ft 8ins tall, with short mousey brown hair. He was wearing a white top and dark trousers.
Superintendent Paul Moxley said: “We have launched a thorough search for Tout and would urge the public if they see him to contact police immediately. Anyone who is knowingly assisting Tout or harbouring him should also expect to be arrested.”
Anyone who sees Tout or knows of his whereabouts should immediately call 999, police said, quoting incident 474s of 3 October 2018.
Alternatively, information can be provided anonymously to the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.