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Old Square Chambers barrister Charlie Woodhouse has been hailed a hero by fellow members of the bar after an unlikely turn of events at the Central London County Court saw him go over and above the call of duty.
On Tuesday afternoon Woodhouse, who specialises in personal injury and clinical negligence, was making his way up a staircase en route to a courtroom when he witnessed a man tie a nylon rope around his neck and jump from the first-floor balcony.
According to sources, Woodhouse caught the man by the shoulders of his suit jacket and supported his full body weight for several minutes. He then managed to haul the man over the banister before police arrived.
One witness told The Lawyer: “I doubt I’ll ever see anyone do something more impressive in my life.
“He saved a man’s life with his fingertips by holding on to his whole body weight. He was smart enough to have worked out the guy was going to jump as he passed him on the stairs.
“The sight of him holding on to the guy and stopping him drop was quite unbelievable, very shocking but totally heroic.”
Woodhouse asked for only half an hour to compose himself before completing an afternoon in court, which The Lawyer understands was the first day of a complex trial.
The identity of the man is unknown and it is not clear whether he was due to appear in court.