Dramatic moment prisoner jumps dock in Adelaide courtroom


Newly released video has shown the moment an Adelaide prisoner made a dramatic escape attempt after learning his bail had been revoked.

Daniel James Nicholson was at a pre-sentence hearing at Christies Beach Magistrates Court in September, when he was informed he would remain in custody.

CCTV shows the 35-year-old behind a clear partition when he suddenly stands as a sheriff’s officer enters the dock.

Nicholson can then be seen climbing up onto a table, swatting his hands at the officer and another who comes forward to help try and detain him.

A prisoner jumps out of the dock in an Adelaide court.
A prisoner jumps out of the dock in an Adelaide court. (Nine)

Nicholson stumbles before stepping over the partition and landing on his knees on a nearby table in the open area of the court.

As he does this, a police prosecutor is quick to react and grabs Nicholson from the table, throwing him to the floor in an effort to stop the escape attempt.

But Nicholson makes another attempt to free himself, injuring one of the other two officers as they come to help.

He is then finally detained, before the sheriff’s officers take him back out an open door.

During a hearing yesterday, a judge said Nicholson’s escape attempt was “impulsive, violent and forceful”.

The court heard Nicholson had anger and impulse control issues and his offending history showed his inability to comply with court orders.

Nicholson was again refused bail and the court was urged to consider a jail term that “protects the community and reflects the gravity of Nicholson’s offending”.

Nicholson pleaded guilty to the offence of attempting to escape custody and two counts of recklessly causing harm to a prescribed emergency worker.

The sheriff’s officer who injured his foot in the scuffle required a moon boot for eight weeks after the September incident.

The other sheriff’s officer suffered a clicking jaw and headache from the scuffle.

Nicholson’s defence said the father-of-four was remorseful for his behaviour and had a longstanding issue with illicit drug use.

He asked the court to consider a suspended sentence or home detention as an alternative to jail time.

Nicholson will be sentenced next month.

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