Court put into lockdown

The Launceston Magistrates Court was locked down yesterday after a prisoner went on a rampage. Picture: NEIL RICHARDSON

The Launceston Magistrates Court was locked down yesterday after a prisoner went on a rampage. Picture: NEIL RICHARDSON

THE Launceston Magistrates Court went into temporary lockdown yesterday after a defendant's furious outburst.

Caine Robert Richardson, of Newnham, appeared and pleaded not guilty to drug trafficking, firearm offences and an aggravated assault. 

As formal court proceedings closed Mr Richardson suddenly head-butted a wooden bench with force from the dock.

Magistrate Reg Marron was ushered from the court room as a handcuffed Mr Richardson began screaming and continuing self-harm.

After refusing to calm down court security issued a distress signal to police and evacuated the Charles Street complex. 

Mr Richardson continued head-butting the wall putting a dent into the plywood surface.

During the outburst he said his life had been in danger and threatened to harm anyone who touched him.

He also shouted for Mr Marron to come back in the court room, saying he would jump the dock's railing.

His lawyer Evan Hughes repeatedly tried to calm his client down.

After being taken into a waiting area Mr Richardson's outburst continued apparently damaging an elevator in the process.

About four police officers responded to the distress call as the public was prevented from entering the court building  for about 20 minutes.

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