Judge orders sex offender to walk 14 miles to court after he 'couldn't afford bus fare'

·Freelance Writer
·2-min read
Ricky Portman claimed he couldn't afford the bus fare to turn up for his court appearance. (SWNS)
Ricky Portman claimed he couldn't afford the bus fare to turn up for his court appearance. (SWNS)

A furious judge ordered a sex offender to walk 14 miles to court after he failed to turn up for his case – claiming he couldn't afford the bus.

Judge James Burbidge QC told Ricky Portman, 41, he should stop spending his benefits on alcohol after he complained he had no money left to travel to court.

A warrant was originally issued for Portman's arrest after he failed to turn up for a hearing at Worcester Magistrates' Court on 14 April.

Portman, of Bromsgrove, Worcestershire, also failed to attend another hearing at Worcester Crown Court on 10 May and then again on 16 June.

His solicitor Ilana Davis told the judge: "He had no means with which he could get from Bromsgrove to Worcester."

The judge responded: "He can walk."

Ricky Portman was told to walk 14 miles to Worcester Crown Court. (Wikipedia)
Ricky Portman was told to walk 14 miles to Worcester Crown Court. (Wikipedia)

Judge Burbidge said Portman was "spending the money on booze" and that he should have saved his benefits to cover the cost of travel.

He added: "It seems to me he makes the choice of what he uses his money for.

"He has an obligation to get to court. It would be different if his money was stolen from him.

"If he's just boozing it up it seems he had no legitimate reasonable excuse."

Portman appeared at court on Tuesday via videolink after being arrested on a bench warrant where he pleaded guilty to sexual assault.

The court heard that Portman received between £600 to £700 per month in benefits, but claimed to have "lost" £300.

His solicitor said the day before the court hearing on 16 June Portman had "just £5 left in his bank account”.

She said her client had spent all his money on travelling to the police station to sign on as a condition of his bail.

Ricky Portman was arrested on a bench warrant and pleaded guilty to sexual assault. (SWNS)
Ricky Portman was arrested on a bench warrant and pleaded guilty to sexual assault. (SWNS)

Davis added: "He had no money to attend court on 16 June and he had no money to telephone his solicitor to inform them he couldn't attend either."

She explained that Portman had asked police for help in getting to court the next day but that they had been "unable to assist him".

Davis also said Portman would not be able to walk to court because he suffered from arthritis.

Judge Burbidge asked Portman, who he described as a "menace to neighbours by the look of it" what he had done with his money and he replied: "I lost about 300 quid."

He was granted bail for reports to be prepared and will be sentenced on 27 July.

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