A convicted criminal sentenced to jail has vaulted from the dock and charged out of court to dodge prison.
Merseyside Police have launched a manhunt for Nicholas Bunclark who was slapped with 16 months behind bars on Tuesday morning, for assault occasioning actual bodily harm.
Bunclark, 30, escaped from Liverpool Crown Court after hearing his fate which first saw his head plunge into his hands before a brief exchange with his mum in the public gallery.
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Having leapt over the gate of the court's unsecured dock, the crook broke free of a tussle with officers, managed to exit the building and remains at large hours later on Tuesday evening.
Bunclark of St Oswald's Lane in Netherton, Merseyside, was jailed for an attack at a hostel on Leyland Road in Southport on November 19 2021.
Police have now asked for the public to report Bunclark's whereabouts if they have any information that could lead to his capture.
A heightened security presence was seen around the courts the aftermath, with the defendant not believed to have left the building, the ECHO reports.
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Patrolling guards were also seen keeping watch outside on Derby Square, while several other cases were adjourned as a result of the incident.
Merseyside Police told the Daily Star: "Officers are appealing for help in locating a man who has fled the dock at Liverpool Crown Court this afternoon, Tuesday 3 January after being jailed.
"If you see you 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, Tuesday 3 January."
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