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William Norman, 46, guilty of bail act offence but denies assault on police officer

By North Devon Journal  |  Posted: October 18, 2012

A BARNSTAPLE man who failed to attend a court hearing on the first anniversary of his wife's death appeared in custody at North Devon Magistrates' Court.

William Richard Norman, 46, of 17 Miller Crescent, entered not guilty pleas to charges of assault on a PCSO and threatening and abusive behaviour but admitted a bail act offence.

Tony Dart, for the defence, said Norman had not felt up to attending court on October 5, when he was due to, as he had "been in a bad place".

Norman then surrendered to police custody on Thursday morning at 9am, hoping to appear in court that morning. But that wasn't to be. Mr Dart said: "Some bright spark rang the court at 8am and said there was no one in custody so my client has spent 24 hours in custody."

Ben Winzer, for the prosecution, said Norman should not be granted bail ahead of the trial, which will take place on January 7.

He said since Norman had previous incidences of not answering bail on his record dating back to 2005 he should be considered a bail risk.

But Mr Dart said those offences "occurred so long ago they are historic, almost prehistoric".

Norman pleaded guilty to the bail act charge.

The magistrate said he felt a day in custody was sufficient penalty for the bail act offence and granted Norman bail until the trial.

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