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Cleaver wielding librarian runs amok over unfair dismissal decision

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An aggrieved library assistant from Slough who burst into an employment tribunal and threatened a judge with a meat cleaver has been sentenced to two years, following proceedings at Reading Crown Court.

Apparently before the incident Judge Russell Hardwick, 66, had ruled against 33-year-old Mohammed Choudhury in an unfair dismissal case brought against Slough Library.

Still seething about the decision, economics graduate Choudhury burst into Reading tribunal centre on June 18.

Barrister Andrew Burns said: 'He just walked up to the judge and said something like, "You threw out my case." Then he raised this meat cleaver before the judge's head.

'The judge cried out and tried to protect himself with his arms. I quickly went up to the man and asked him to hand it over. Amazingly, he complied.'

Mr Burns added: 'It all happened in a matter of seconds. I then kept him talking for about ten minutes until the police arrived.

'It was unreal at the time but afterwards we were all as white as sheets and it could so easily have turned out very differently.'

Trainee barrister Kate Balmer, 25, said that Mr Burns 'probably saved the judge's life'.

She said: 'Andrew Burns shouted at him, "What on Earth do you think you are doing?" The man looked at him and the judge managed to run out into his room and shut the door.'

In a written statement to police, Choudhury said: "I had no intention of killing him. However I mistakenly thought by bringing the weapon into the court room Judge Hardwick would finally admit the truth."

He pled guilty to one charge of possession of an offensive weapon and one of affray under the Public Order Act 1986. The court sentenced him to 12 months for each count.

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