A judge was hailed a hero after rushing to the aid of a distressed man who had just slit his own throat after he had been given a prison sentence.

District Judge Michael Fanning ran from Court Two into an anteroom next door to get some towels to stem the flow of blood after Gary Bell, 20, attacked his own throat with a smuggled in craft blade which had been concealed in Rizla cigarette papers.

Staff at Kirklees Magistrates’ Court helped the man as best they could while their colleagues phoned the emergency services who arrived within minutes.

The drama occurred after 2pm on Thursday when Bell of Sycamore Court, Milnsbridge, appeared to be sentenced for five offences on June 18 and to which he had pleaded guilty on July 3.

These included three of assaulting two males and one female and two of damaging property in the Quarmby area of Huddersfield.

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It is understood District Judge Fanning was in the process of sentencing the defendant when he harmed himself.

Today there was a subdued atmosphere in the court with searches of people’s bags taking much longer than usual.

A spokesman for the security company, GEOAmey, which operates at the court said: “We can confirm that at approximately 2pm on Thursday, 31 July, an incident occurred at Kirklees Magistrates’ Court.

“GEOAmey is working closely with Her Majesty’s Courts & Tribunals Service and the Ministry of Justice to investigate this incident.”

And a spokesman for the other security company, G4S, which is also represented at the court, said: “None of our staff suffered injury during this incident.

“We understand injuries were sustained by a member of staff working for another company at the court.”

Bell was being represented by Arshad Ali Khan, of Ali & Co Solicitors, but Mr Khan declined to comment when approached for further details following the incident.