A man fled court during his sentencing hearing at Roscommon Circuit Court today.
The man, aged in his 20s, was before the court to be sentenced for affray, to which he had pleaded guilty, according to the Roscommon Herald.
Judge Francis Comerford was handing down a sentence when the accused, who was sitting in the high seats at the back of the court, jumped over a partition and ran out of the building.
Gardaí and prison offers pursued him before a warrant was issued for his arrest.
He was arrested at 3pm after gardaí found him hiding in a container at a nearby restaurant. In total, it was less than 15 minutes the man was unaccounted for.
Gardaí said he gave no trouble during the arrest.
After returning to court, the man's barrister said he panicked after misunderstanding the headline sentence, thinking he had been sentenced to seven and a half years in prison.
The court heard that the accused suffered with hearing problems and anxiety.
“I was just thinking of my children your honour,” he told the judge.
Taking all the factors into account, the judge said he would impose 200 hours in lieu of one year’s imprisonment for the affray offence.
He adjourned the matter until July for the Probation Service to carry out an assessment.
The judge accepted that the incident was the actions of an immature and confused person.