News report by Helen Gavaghan, 16th March 2020. Crown Court, Bradford.

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His Honour Judge Gibson this afternoon issued a bench warrant for the arrest of Mr Mzuffar Ali-Ditta. Mr Ali-Ditta had failed to appear in response to a summons alleging breach of conditions forming part of a suspended sentence imposed in April 2019 by Bradford Crown Court. The judge found that Mr Ali-Ditta clearly knew of the proceedings being brought against him, given his exchanges with the office of his defence counsel. The case against Mr Ali-Ditta was heard in Mr Ali-Ditta's absence. Counsel on behalf of Mr Ali-Ditta had sought the Court's leave to withdraw prior to the breach proceedings, once it became clear Mr Ali-Ditta was not attending.

Evidence of abusive and aggressive behaviour by Mr Ali-Ditta toward members of the probation service was presented to the Court, and accepted as credible. Among other things Mr Ali-Ditta called probation staff "white probation trash", made deeply offensive remarks to his supervising officer, and attempted to spit at other staff from probation.

Rather than sentence Mr Ali-Ditta in his absence Judge Gibson issued a warrant for Mr Ali-Ditta's arrest.

In a preceeding breach case - against Mr Tomasz Andrukianiec - Judge Gibson had extended an existing curfew order by two weeks. Mr Andrukianiec had breached his order following sentence for a dangerous driving conviction. Mr Andrukianiec has suffered heart attacks, has caring responsibilities, and takes heavy pain killing medication. The defendant's advocate told the Court that his client - who was present - says medication means that some mornings when he wakes his client literally does not know what day it is. Mr Andrukianiec had asked his offender manager if he could receive a text reminder for his appointments with probation - something which in the past was routine for the probation service - but was told, "no". Judge Gibson took the view that he could in the circumstances be more lenient than the sentencing guidelines, which propose activation of suspended sentences when the Probation Service brings successful breach proceedings.

Posted online at 18.00 by Helen Gavaghan for inclusions in issue one 2020,
of Science, People & Politics


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