9th Dec, 2016

Judge hits out as prisoner fails to attend court due to being 'too intoxicated'

Coventry Editorial 7th Mar, 2016 Updated: 28th Oct, 2016

A JUDGE has branded as ‘deplorable’ a prisoner who could not be brought to court to be sentenced – because he was said to be ‘too intoxicated.’

Jarrell Coleman had pleaded guilty at Warwick Crown Court in November to two charges of dangerous driving, but had denied a further allegation of assault.

On that occasion the case was adjourned for trial on the assault charge. But the prosecution later decided to offer no evidence against him and he was given a not guilty verdict.

The case had then been adjourned for a pre-sentence report to be prepared on him over the dangerous driving offences, and he was remanded in custody.

But on the day he was due to be sentenced, the court heard that Coleman (28) of Iden Road, Hillfields, Coventry, had not been produced from HMP Hewell.

His barrister Jonathan Veasey-Pugh explained: “He is too intoxicated to be brought to court, not through drink, so presumably through drugs.

“That should not be the case when someone is remanded in custody,” he remarked.

Judge Alan Parker declared: “I regard this situation to be utterly deplorable and despicable. The governor is to conduct an inquiry and report to the court.

“The court would wish to have a written report from the governor as to how a prisoner can get himself into such a state that he is unfit to attend court through intoxication.”

He adjourned the case for Coleman to be dealt with at a later date via a video link with the prison, rather than being brought to the court.

And Judge Parker ordered: “He is to be produced for that, irrespective of the state he’s in.”