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Suffolk court is left unlocked

PUBLISHED: 12:01 27 May 2009 | UPDATED: 09:47 06 July 2010

An investigation is under way after a Suffolk courthouse was left unlocked and unmanned - prompting fears it could have been unlocked over the entire Bank Holiday weekend.

An investigation is under way after a Suffolk courthouse was left unlocked and unmanned.

A criminal defendant was left on his own inside Bury St Edmunds Magistrates Court yesterday morning after the security gaffe - prompting fears it could have been unlocked over the entire Bank Holiday weekend.

Her Majesty's Court Service (HMCS) last night pledged a full investigation but refused to comment how the mistake was made or how long the court had remained unlocked.

The blunder was uncovered when a defendant meant to be attending court, a reporter from the EDP's sister paper, the East Anglian Daily Times, and a third woman - dropping off some legal papers regarding a case later this week - were all able to enter the empty building in Honey Hill.

But inside, there were no officials, solicitors or security guards in sight on either of the building's two floors. A delivery driver said he had twice been confronted by an empty court building as he attempted to deliver a package.

The woman, who did not want to be named, said: “I came down here with legal aid papers because I just assumed it would be open.

“It is weird that we have been able to just walk in without anyone being here. There is no sign or anything saying it was closed.”

The HMCS spokesman added: “We take security very seriously and we can confirm that the court is now secure. We are investigating what happened.”

By midday - after the EADT had contacted Her Majesty's Court Service and the building's security firm Mitie - the entrance to the courthouse was locked.

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