Page last updated at 18:55 GMT, Wednesday, 21 October 2009 19:55 UK

Rapist flees dock after verdict

Liverpool Crown Court
Toner escaped the Liverpool Crown Court building

A man escaped custody by vaulting the dock at Liverpool Crown Court after being convicted of assaulting and raping a woman.

Byron Toner, 26, jumped over the front of the dock, ran out of the courtroom and down the fire escape when he was refused bail on Wednesday.

Merseyside Police began an immediate search for Toner, of Culme Road, West Derby, as he fled the building.

A jury had earlier convicted him of rape and unlawful wounding.

Bail refused

The court heard that Toner raped and repeatedly assaulted the 19-year-old woman between 15 and 16 November 2008.

He then took her to Liverpool's Royal Hospital, where she was treated for more than 58 injuries.

Judge Adrian Lyon refused an application for bail and remanded Toner in custody until 9 November.

But as he was led to the cells he jumped out the dock and fled the building.

Merseyside Police have a number of officers making inquiries into his whereabouts and said he should not be approached.

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