Gardaí were last night continuing their search for a man who escaped from custody for the second time in four weeks.
Prison staff were left red-faced on Thursday when the man gave them the slip at Bray District Court, where he is facing charges of assault.
The 22-year-old, who is on remand, left the courtroom after his case was adjourned and was being directed back to the holding cells in the complex.
He was not handcuffed coming out of the court as defendants cannot be restrained in front of the jury.
On his way back to the holding cell he somehow managed to escape the attention of prison officers and exited through a rear door.
“He was noticed missing by staff, but how long he was gone is not yet clear,” a source said.
“There was a frantic scramble at this time and gardaí, who were in the court, assisted in a search of the nearby area.”
Details and photographs of the man were circulated among Garda stations in Wicklow and Dublin, where the man is from.
The governor of Cloverhill Prison, where the man was being held, has ordered a full investigation to determine how he managed to escape.
It is the second time the man has sought to escape custody in the last month.
On April 9 he fled from gardaí at Tallaght Hospital. He ran out of the hospital early in the morning, but was subsequently tracked down and returned to custody.
Tallaght Hospital was the scene of a violent escape by Derek Brockwell last February, during which he stabbed two prison officers, slashing one across the stomach, inflicting serious injuries.
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