A policeman has criticised the judicial system after a man who threatened to kill police officers walked free from court.

PC Danny Baker, a response officer based at Brighton, said: "It is about time the antiquated British legal system was brought up to date.

"If the public knew how many criminals walk free from court due to minor technicalities there would be outrage."

PC Baker, writing in the Sussex Police magazine Patrol, recounted how officers arrested a man after a knife incident in a pub and eventually charged him with threatening to kill the officers and of being in possession of a knife.

PC Baker said the case was adjourned at crown court three times, in 11 months, during which time three independent witnesses had moved homes and could not be traced.

The offender finally pleaded guilty to possessing the knife and was fined £100. He was found not guilty of treatening to kill police officers.

PC Baker said: "A dangerous offender, who shows total disrespect for the law and officers who try to uphold it, is now walking the streets."