Grenadier Guards in Gun-shaped lighter in court drama

A group of Grenadier Guards were holed up in a court room for an hour after a man's gun-shaped silver cigarette lighter sparked a major security alert.
Armed police swooped on Reading Crown Court on Friday, after a man, 25, was seen with what appeared to be a gun.

Members of the First Battalion Grenadier Guards - attending a case - were told to stay in court, along with barristers. The man is now in custody.

A security guard saw the man, who was waiting for a friend, on a CCTV camera.

A spokesman for Thames Valley Police later confirmed the item had been a cigarette lighter.

An eye-witness said: "It was in the shape of a silver gun. It was pretty obvious, it had a key ring on it."

Sue Heath, court manager, would not confirm what had taken place but said: "Our security arrangements did work."

The arrested man was waiting for a friend to be sentenced for possession with intent to supply drugs when he was spotted by the security guard taking the lighter out of a bag.

The guard then raised the alarm, said Det Insp Ian Winson, of Thames Valley Police.

He added the man was held with what appeared to be an "imitation" gun.

Members of the public in the main lobby were sent into side rooms and judges retreated to their chambers, as officers dealt with the situation.

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