Criminal suspects have escaped court docks 27 TIMES in past two years despite Ministry of Justice spending £2million on security

  • EXCLUSIVE 27 defendants fled court docks during the past 2 years
  • A man broke through the Perspex screen at Wood Green Crown Court 
  • Hove court security guards allowed an injured burglar to ‘hobble free’ in the ‘Hapless” category
  • The MoJ spent £1.9m shoring up court docks from 2019 to 2021 
  • Meanwhile, over £2m was spent by the MoJ making courts Covid-safe

Defendants have escaped from court docks 27 times in two years, despite the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) spending nearly £2 million on reinforcing docks.  

In 2020/21, the MoJ shelled out £1.34m on ‘replacing, upgrading and securing’ court docks across the country.

Ten defendants also cleared their defenses in that year and made a run for it mid-procedings. 

That compares with 2019/20, when £550,000 was spent on escape-proofing docks and 17 defendants got loose. 

MailOnline received the numbers through Freedom of Information requests.

Year financial Spend money on court dock escapeproofing Numerous court dock escapees
2019/20 £550,500 17
2020/21 £1,343,329  10

A suspected burglar escaped from Hove Crown Court in East Sussex in September 2021. He severely injured his ankle.

Jack Tyler (28), who remains on the run, was seen last time running away from security officers ‘wearing only one blue and white trainer and covered in blood,’ according to Sussex Police.

Eyewitnesses told The Sun Tyler got away from Hove’s courtroom, where his burglary case and affray case were being heard.  

An eyewitness stated that she heard someone shouting and the suspect was speeding down the road, with his court security guards trying to chase him.

Jack Tyler, 28, a suspected burglar, escaped from Hove Crown Court on September 8 2021 and remains at large - despite the MoJ having spent millions of pounds on shoring up court dock defences over the last two years

Jack Tyler, 28, is a burglar suspect who escaped Hove Crown Court’s September 8th 2021. Tyler remains in hiding despite the MoJ spending millions on court dock defences during the past two years

Hove Crown Court: Tyler was seen hobbling, covered in blood and wearing one blue and white trainer as he made his break for freedom, with 'hapless' court security guards in tow

Hove Crown Court – Tyler could be seen limping, covered with blood, wearing one of his blue andwhite trainers as he fled for freedom. He was accompanied by ‘hapless security guards’ from the court.

‘One of them looked like they were trying to bungle after him, they looked like the most hapless thing you have ever seen. 

“They were playing with the handcuffs so I just looked out, and then they came out of courthouse and started to come out.  

London’s Wood Green Crown Court saw two dangerous drivers convicted escape from the docks this year. 

Marian Vasilica Dragoi (being sentenced January 14, 2021, for leading police to a 180mph chase on his motorbike at police), jumped from the dock and fled the fourth-floor courtroom. Security guards arrested him just before he could leave the building.

After hearing that he was going to spend 46 weeks behind bars, the 19-year old made a desperate run for his freedom in just seconds.  

Just five months later at Wood Green Crown Court, Nathan Oloyowang, 22, clambered out of the dock and ran for the exit after being sentenced to 10 months in prison.

Oloyowang broke a Perspex screen to escape and inflicted injury on a security guard’s right hand. Met Police re-captured him nine days later in Harrow on 30 June.

Marian Vasilica Dragoi, 19, was apprehended by court security guards before he could escape the building

Nathan Oloyowang, 22, smashed his way out of Wood Green Crown Court in June 2021

Marian Vasilica Dragoi (left) and Nathan Oloyowang (right): Two dangerous drivers who escaped court docks at Wood Green Crown Court five months apart

Wood Green Crown Court: the scene of at least two courtroom break outs in 2021

Wood Green Crown Court is the site of at least two courtroom breaks outs in 2021

According to a spokesperson from the MoJ, “We commit to keeping our courts secure and safe for all who use them.” 

‘Additionally in 2020/21, there was a significant rise in expenditure because the priority for HMCTS recovery from the Covid-19 Pandemic was. 

‘We have adjusted court rooms to hold Covid-secure trials, moved to virtual hearings where possible and opened Nightingale courts to create additional court rooms as part of a package of measures to increase available capacity and adhere to government’s policy of social distancing. 

‘The spend to secure docks in relation to Covid-19 measures amounted to £2,033,168.’