Members of staff at Huddersfield Magistrates Court admit to being somewhat shocked by the events which followed the reported sighting by a defendant of a rather large spider in one of their courtrooms.
Baffled by the appearance of such an impressive creepy crawly, staff investigated and discovered that there was an outside chance it may have been a tarantula. It turns out that last autumn a witness reported the theft of a pet tarantula he had taken to the court in a plastic box, like you do...
And, proving that the pluck of the profession is as resolute as ever, according to acting clerk to the justices Michael Wilson, staff took the news that an aggressive tropical spider could be lurking in some dark corner of the courthouse extremely well.
"The truth is that even if there was a tarantula here, it would be more frightened of us than we are of it," said Mr Wilson. Stirring stuff in the face of such adversity.
Nevertheless, Mr Wilson took the precaution of calling in council pest control officers to be on the safe side.
But what has taken everybody by surprise is the media frenzy which followed the news. In fact one headline went as far as bellowing: "Court Terrorised by Killer Spider".
But it seems even B-movie 'killer spiders' meet their match now and then and there have been no sightings of the crawling terror since the courts were sprayed with insecticide.