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Defendant attempts citizen's arrest on judge during assault trial

Daniel Hughes said he did not recognised the court's jurisdiction and jumped onto the judge's desk in an attempt to get his hands on him

Daniel Hughes, 37, from Bryn in Port Talbot, has been jailed
Daniel Hughes, 37, from Bryn in Port Talbot, has been jailed

A defendant attempted to carry out a citizen's arrest of a court judge after telling him he did not recognise his authority before being wrestled away by security guards.

Daniel Hughes had crossed the courtroom at Swansea Magistrates' Court and attempted to climb onto the desk where district judge Neale Thomas was overseeing proceedings. His actions prompted court staff to rush to take preventative action to safeguard the district judge.

The 37-year-old was appearing at the court for a trial after being charged with assault following an incident outside his home in Welfare Avenue in Bryn, Port Talbot. Hughes, having been taken to the cells following his approach to the district judge, refused to return for the trial.

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In his absence a Neath Port Talbot council enforcement officer told the court how he had been sent to Hughes' home in July this year after Hughes had failed to pay an outstanding parking fine and had also failed to respond to correspondence about the issue which had been sent to him.

The enforcement officer, Kyle Gasson, told the court he had fitted a clamp to Hughes' vehicle prompting Hughes to threaten him before grabbing him by the scruff of his neck, which left him with red marks on his skin.

Mr Gasson said: "I instantly knew the type of person I was dealing with. You are not there to be assaulted but it looked like it was going down that route.

"I asked if he was threatening me and he said: 'Damn right I am making threats'. I am not there to be assaulted but you try not to get to that stage. I do not want to be rolling around on the floor."

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The court was told Hughes had attempted to jack up his car after the clamp had been fixed in place in a bid to remove it. Mr Gasson then attempted to clamp another wheel at which stage Hughes grabbed hold of him.

Hughes was found guilty of the assault but sentencing was adjourned for seven days. However he was found in contempt of court and ordered to serve 28 days in custody.

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