Suffolk court is left unlocked
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.
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'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.