A convicted murderer was able to smuggle a weapon into a Kingston courtroom before escaping from three security guards, a report has revealed.
Child killer Richard Kwakye managed to hide a “stick” on him as he travelled from Pentonville prison to a hearing about his child at Kingston County Court.
The report, by Her Majesty’s Courts and Tribunals Service (HMCTS), says Kwayke eluded three Serco guards to run out of the hearing, down the main staircase and out of the front door into St James Road.
He also pushed a former Kingston University student off her bike for his attempted getaway before being stopped by security guards.
Two guards received injuries in the escape attempt – including a Mitie guard employed by the court, who was punched in the face with Kwakye’s weapon.
The Surrey Comet was able to obtain the report following an appeal to the Information Commissioner’s Office.
A previous Freedom of Information request also revealed the “stick” was a piece of wood with a screw fixed to the end.
The redacted report states: “He punched [redacted] with a wooden stick in the face.
“He appears to have had this stick on his person. He then fought with one of the Serco guards and injured [redacted].”
Kwakye’s bid for freedom – on June 18, 2012 – was witnessed by several passing students from nearby Kingston College.
College principal Peter Mayhew-Smith said: “If hundreds of prisoners had been able to escape from the court then it would be a sad indictment and would raise serious questions and concerns.
“But this is one occasion and I think it was handled well.
“I hope the lessons to be learned have been learned.”
A Serco spokesman said: “The prisoner had been searched by prison staff prior to being placed in our custody, followed by a second search by our own custody officers.
“During the afternoon session, the prisoner made a violent attempt to escape from court, assaulting and injuring members of our team who reacted quickly to ensure he was recaptured.
“We conducted a thorough investigation into this incident in conjunction with HM Prison Service and HM Courts & Tribunals Service.
“This included an internal review of our prisoner escorting procedures and we are confident they are safe and secure.”
Kwakye, of Andover Road, Twickenham, is serving a life sentence for the murder of toddler Siariah Letang, who died in an arson attack in Camberwell in 2010.
He received an extra three years in prison for the escape attempt.
The Surrey Comet appealed to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) as a last resort to find out how a convicted murderer was able to escape from a secure courtroom.
Having spent more than a year having its Freedom of Information (FoI) requests rejected by HMCTS, an agency of the Ministry of Justice, the Comet was finally able to see the report after the ICO ruled in favour.
HMCTS has never made a statement about the incident and repeatedly declined to answer FoI requests.
When it rejected the Comet’s second FoI request in April 2013, the agency said: “Public confidence will reduce if the courts are seen to be unable to maintain a safe working environment and HMCTS’ reputation will suffer as a consequence.”