Liverpool

Child rapist threatens suicide at Liverpool Crown Court

A convicted child rapist smuggled a knife into Liverpool Crown Court and threatened to kill himself in the dock.

The Courts Service said Mark Jarrett, 43, from Wigan, had passed a metal detector operated by security firm G4S when he arrived at court on Tuesday.

However, shortly after being convicted of sexual assault and rape, he produced a craft knife and threatened suicide.

Jarrett was persuaded to put the blade down after 40 minutes of negotiations. The incident is being investigated.

A Courts Service spokeswoman said no-one had been injured in the incident and Jarrett had been "detained by police".

'Establish facts'

She said Jarrett, who was on bail, had passed security provided by two firms and the "urgent investigation" would look at how he managed to smuggle the knife through G4S's entrance security and a search by GEOAmey dock officers.

"HMCS (Her Majesty's Courts Service) takes the issue of security within courts extremely seriously and has a rigorous system in place, including mandatory bag searches, bag scanners, metal detectors and surveillance cameras, to ensure the safety of all court users," she said.

A G4S spokeswoman said: "G4S take all such incidents extremely seriously and are conducting a thorough investigation to establish the facts.

"We strive to operate to the highest standards, and safety and security remains our utmost priority. In the event that a breach has occurred we will apply any lessons learned."

Jarrett, of Frog Lane, is due to be sentenced on one count of rape and three counts of sexual assault against a 16-year-old boy on 14 September.

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