A doughty mouse leaped from a lawyer’s handbag putting the frighteners on court security staff in Canterbury.
“When I saw it I was shocked and I admit I did jump - I thought hang on, you can’t have that in here,” said Nicky Wakeman.
Mystery surrounds how the critter, believed to be a baby field mouse, found its way into her bag however, she told Canterbury Crown Court security her cat could be responsible.
Mr Wakeman, 27 from Dymchurch, a security guard for two years added: “When I was searching the bag it just emerged - nobody expected a mouse to come out of it.
“It looked at me then started scampering around on top of the bag - she thought her cat may have placed it in there.
“I stepped back and said to her ‘what on earth is that?’
“I wasn’t going to touch it, so I got a colleague to release it outside.”
Khalid Ali, 36, from Canterbury, has worked at the Chaucer Road court estate for three years - the three inch light coloured rodent is one of the “strangest" items he has come across.
“It came up out of the bag and it was staring into our eyes.
“I thought she was playing some kind of practical joke. I said ‘hang on’ is this real or just a joke?
“Then I realised she was just as shocked as we were.”
The duo are part of a small dedicated team, who protect staff and the public from those bringing weapons or drugs into court.
“I stepped back and said to her, ‘what on earth is that?'..." - Nicky Wakeman
All court visitors have to empty their pockets before going through a metal scanner.
Then they face a second scan with a hand-held device.
And unearthing knives or Class C drug cannabis is not unusual.
“We get a lot of pen knives brought here, we get cannabis - so we confiscate it.
“The mouse has to be the weirdest thing I’ve seen though - although once someone brought a tarantula in,” he added.
The venomous spider was the property of a man in his mid-20s who arrived to give support to a friend.
He said he had just bought the Togo Starburst tarantula for £1,700 at an exotic animals shop.
The tarantula – in its sealed container - was kept in a locked cupboard for six hours in 2012 until the owner left.