Fat man 'too ill' for court
A "grossly obese" man accused of defrauding people of more than $100,000 has missed another court appearance because of his health.
His lawyer Michael Meyrick asked community magistrate Jack Best to excuse his absence on medical grounds at Hamilton District Court yesterday and his request was narrowly granted with a proviso that it would be the final time.
The 47-year-old man has interim name suppression until his next appearance in a week and a half, when the issue of his bail and extended name suppression would be addressed.
Mr Meyrick said his client's health "could only be described as catastrophically bad" and mentioned chronic heart problems, diabetes and blood pressure issues.
Police were opposed to a further adjournment on the 10 counts stemming from alleged fraudulent activity between July 2011 and January 2012.
He faces two charges of using a document for a pecuniary advantage, seven of obtaining by deception and one of managing a company while restricted.
Police prosecutor Brendon Bland said the accused understood the criminal justice system and when he finally made it to court, police would oppose his bail.
He asked for written proof from Mr Meyrick that the man was in Waikato Hospital as stated, and later in the day a faxed letter was produced.
After hearing the man had gone to the hospital without an appointment, Mr Bland asked the community magistrate to issue a warrant for his arrest because he was "relying on his medical condition to avoid the charges".
Mr Meyrick opposed the warrant.
"Nothing will be achieved by issuing a warrant he's not going anywhere. He can't put the milk bottles out without having a heart attack," he said.
"He's going to be bloody useless in custody with 50 medical conditions, but it's not for me to be critical of the police."
The community magistrate called it "an unusual situation" before adjourning matters until next week and warned Mr Meyrick it would be highly likely the 47-year-old would be arrested if he failed to show up again.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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