Teen leapt from the dock to escape court

Preston Crown Court
Preston Crown Court
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A man who jumped over the dock rail and fled from court has been spared jail.

Lee Richardson, 19, was due to enter pleas to an attempted burglary he committed with another teenager when he leapt from the dock.

Several court security guards chased him as he fled the corridors at Preston Crown Court in Ringway, Preston.

However Richardson outran officers and spent two weeks at large before handing himself in to the police.

He was sent immediately to prison but after seven weeks behind bars, Judge Robert Altham allowed him to walk free from court as he handed him a 14 month suspended sentence for his escape and the original charge of attempted burglary.

Preston Crown Court heard Richardson, of Princess Street, Preston, and another youth - who can not be named for legal reasons - were attempting to break into a house belonging to a disabled woman in Deepdale, Preston, but were caught by her son. The man banged on the window and interrupted the men as they tried to jemmy open a window with a crowbar they had taken to the scene.

The police arrived as the teenagers made off on their bikes and both were arrested.

The younger teen - who is now 17 - was jailed in April for his part in a drugs conspiracy in which members of a prolific city gang were locked up for a total of 82 years for flooding the streets of Preston with class A drugs.

But the court heard since he has been in a young offenders’ institution he has taken on responsibility and had a complete change of attitude, having spent time away from his previous associates.

Both men pleaded guilty to attempted burglary and Richardson admitted escape from lawful custody.

Judge Robert Altham, sentencing, told Richardson: “You are not a habitual, ingrained offender but there is a risk of you becoming that.

“Young as you are you are no longer a child but you are someone in respect of whom there must be some hope.

“I hope having spent the last seven weeks in custody you will not want to return.”

He told the 17-year-old: “The prime aim of the youth justice system is to prevent further offending in young people.

“I am very troubled by your previous convictions. You have a bad record for low level offending and involved yourself in a serious conspiracy to supply class A drugs.

“When I sentenced you in April it could have been thought you had poor prospects. You have proved those expectations wrong so far.

“The aim is to try and ensure that your release is not disrupted and give you an added impetus to keep out of trouble.”

He sentenced the youth to a three year rehabilitation order and and Richardson to 14 months suspended for two years with 150 hours unpaid work.