Prisoners case delayed as he refuses to leave cell for hearing

A prisoner awaiting sentence has had his case delayed after refusing to leave his cell for a court hearing.

Dale Russell also failed to co-operate with social workers preparing a report on him ahead of his sentencing.

Last month Russell, 27, appeared from HMP Addiewell via videolink at Hamilton Sheriff Court.

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He admitted stealing clothing, fishing gear and computer games from a neighbour’s flat in Stanhope Place, Gowkthrapple, in May last year.

He also admitted attempting to pervert the course of justice by offering the neighbour ÂŁ700 to withdraw a police statement and “keep quiet”.

Russell also pleaded guilty to charges involving threatening or abusive behaviour and possession of a razor blade and a knife.

The court heard he tried to bribe his neighbour because he didn’t want to go back to jail.

He had been freed from prison only a month before and was on a supervised release order.

The razor blade was found when he was searched by police. It was wrapped in tape and fell from his anus.

He was later found to have a craft knife in a cell at the court.

Russell told staff there ‘I can’t believe the police missed this’.

Russell has been in custody since his arrest in May 2020 and lawyer Stephen McQuillan said his client has “a long history of health issues”.

A videolink for Friday’s sentencing hearing was set up, but a guard at HMP Addiewell said Russell had refused to attend at the video room.

She stated: “We are having considerable issues.

“Is it mandatory that he makes an appearance? If so, we would have to bring him under restraint.”

Sentence was further deferred until next month.

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