Court witness who jumped ship given jail

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A WITNESS in a court trial has been jailed after heading home at lunchtime – resulting in the case being abandoned.

Christopher Deans was due to give evidence in a criminal trial at Haddington Sheriff Court last month, but got fed up waiting and decided to go home before he was called.

When it was discovered Deans, 28, had left the court building, a warrant was issued for his arrest and he appeared in the dock charged with contempt of court the next day.

Unemployed Deans, from Dunbar, East Lothian, had claimed he left after being told there was “something wrong with the fire alarms” in the building, but no evidence could be produced to back him up.

Defence solicitor Colm Dempsey admitted to the court his client’s actions were “a serious matter” and that Deans “apologises profusely” for his early departure on December 6.

But Sheriff Peter Braid told Deans he had “not been honest” in his dealings with the court and sentenced the father-of-two to 14 days in prison.

Sheriff Braid told him: “It was particularly serious in this case as it meant there was no ­prospect of the trial ­proceeding.”