Judge Charles Byers's anger as Chatham teen Mark Dallas misses sentencing hearing at Maidstone Crown Court for assault for birthday trip
A teenager failed to turn up at court to be sentenced for assault... because he was too busy celebrating his birthday.
Mark Dallas's absence angered a judge, who declared: "I gather he has gone somewhere else on a surprise trip. I would have given him a surprise trip if he had attended."
Asked by Adrian Rohard, defending, if it would be "all expenses paid", Judge Charles Byers said: "Well, something like that."
Dallas, 19, of Otway Street, Chatham, was due to be sentenced with Tony Jones, 44, of Stafford Street, Gillingham, for assaulting Ricky Winter, causing him actual bodily harm in August.
As Mr Rohard gave an explanation for his missing client, the judge said: "I am all ears. I am fascinated."
The lawyer added: "His girlfriend telephoned his solicitor to say his brother and a friend had taken him away for his birthday."
Judge Byers asked at Maidstone Crown Court: "Are you saying they kidnapped him? How was he taken away? Was he bound and gagged?"
Mr Rohard said Dallas was of limited intelligence, but the judge insisted: "He seems to be intelligent enough to go off and enjoy a birthday party."
Dallas was on bail, including a condition of residence, and Judge Byers asked: "Which part of 'live and sleep each night' did he fail to understand?"
Adjourning sentence and issuing a warrant without bail for Dallas's arrest, he added: "I can't just have defendants swanning off to a birthday party. It is as simple as that."
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