A woman who failed to appear in court to be sentenced after admitting setting fire to a flat phoned her victim hours before she was due to appear and told him she was ‘going on the run’, a court heard.
An arrest warrant has been issued with regard to Patricia Pemberton, 56, of Moorfield Avenue, Huncoat, after she failed to appear at Preston Crown court on Monday to be sentenced for charge arson and being reckless as to whether life would be endangered.
The offence was committed in Regent Street, Haslingden on Wednesday, February 1, 2017 when a fire was set by Pemberton at the apartment home of Bill Grundy.
Addressing Judge Simon Medland, prosecution barrister Keith Sutton said there was every indication over the weekend the defendant would not attend the sentencing hearing.
He said: “Mr Grundy received a number of answer phone messages on his mobile phone on Saturday evening which I have heard this morning.
“On them Patricia Pemberton is threatening and abusive towards him.
“She said she was going on the run and would not be attending the hearing.”
Defending barrister Mark Stuart said his client did not drive and had phoned the court at 7am that morning and said that she would not be present due to her lift letting her down at a late stage.
He added that he had no explanation why his client had not used public transport or other means of travel to attend the hearing.
He said court officers had called her several times but the phone was not answered.
Judge Medland issued a bench warrant for the arrest of Pemberton ‘at the earliest opportunity’.
He said: “Once arrested she will then remain in custody until such time as the sentencing hearing can go ahead unless any bail application is successful.
“These proceedings cannot go ahead without the presence of both Mr Stuart and Mr Sutton so we will have to find a later date.”
Mr Sutton told the judge that Pemberton’s existing bail conditions did not prevent her from contacting Mr Grundy.
Judge Medland said he would address that issue should Pemberton submit an application for bail after she had been taken into custody.
The judge apologised to Mr Grundy and those with him in public gallery saying that as the defendant had failed to appear the hearing had not been able to go ahead as planned.