Man jumps out of dock and flees court after being hit with 16-month prison sentence

3 January 2023, 21:30 | Updated: 3 January 2023, 21:33

Nicholas Bunclark
Nicholas Bunclark. Picture: Merseyside Police

By Emma Soteriou

A man has escaped court after jumping over the dock rail when he received a 16-month prison sentence.

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Nicholas Bunclark, 30, escaped Liverpool Crown Court after outrunning security staff.

He was convicted of assault occasioning actual bodily harm after an attack at a hostel in Leyland Road, Southport - where he had been living - on November 19, 2021.

Nardeen Nemat, prosecuting, told the court that the victim was awoken in his bed by being hit in the face with his own rugby ball.

He found Bunclark and two other men in his room. Bunclark told him to get out and the other man, who had thrown the ball, punched him.

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Liverpool Crown Court
Liverpool Crown Court. Picture: Alamy

He suffered a fractured cheek bone but was too afraid to go to hospital in case he was attacked again.

In an impact statement, the victim said he had moved out of Merseyside as a result and his mental health had suffered.

Bunclark held his head in his hands after learning his sentence before having a brief interaction with his mum in the public gallery, according to the Liverpool Echo. He was then led towards the cells.

It was then that he vaulted the gate out of the dock, with Merseyside Police later confirming that Bunclark remained at large.

A spokesman for HM Courts and Tribunals Service said: “The strict security measures we have in place ensure escapes from court custody are extremely rare and our staff and the police are now working together to recapture the offender.”

Merseyside Police said in a statement: "Officers are appealing for help in locating a man who has fled the dock at Liverpool Crown Court this afternoon, Tuesday, January 3, after being jailed.

"Nicholas Bunclark, from Liverpool, was sentenced to 16 months for assault at Liverpool Crown Court this afternoon.

"If you see him, recognise him or know where he is, contact us via @MerPolCC on Twitter, Merseyside Police Contact Centre on Facebook or anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 with reference 369 of Tuesday, January 3."