Police have launched a manhunt after a 19-year-old from Southend fled a court dock as a judge was about to send him to jail.
Unemployed Ricky Kerry ran from the dock at Southend Crown Court after being sentenced to 28 months in prison for robbery, Essex Police said.
It is understood that Kerry, of Jones Close, escaped through heavy double doors at the entrance to the court and down two flights of stairs. Security guards chased him but could not catch him.
The force said Kerry was being sentenced for a robbery in Sutton Road, Southend, in April in which he punched a man and took his mobile phone.