Homeless man in Coalville tent who could not afford to get to court in Leicester is to be arrested

The court heard Levi Smith, 32, has no money and is living in a tent
-Credit: (Image: Google)


Magistrates have ordered the arrest of a homeless man who could not afford to get to court for his sentencing hearing. Levi Smith is living in a tent on the outskirts of Coalville, Leicester Magistrates' Court heard on Wednesday.

At a previous hearing he had pleaded guilty to a string of charges from earlier this month, as well as a shoplifting offence from Lincolnshire. At the earlier hearing, Smith, 32, had admitted four counts of assaulting police officers, one of criminal damage to a police cell, using threatening behaviour with intent to cause fear of violence and possessing 15 tablets of prescription anxiety drug Pregabalin.

Those offences all took place in Leicester on Friday, April 12, and the Lincolnshire offence, which he had also admitted, was for stealing Ariel washing pods worth £12.85 from a shop in Boston in January this year. Raza Sakhi, representing Smith, told the court his client had not managed to get to Leicester for the sentencing hearing.

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He said: "He's living on the outskirts of Coalville in a tent. He has no money and no means of getting here."

Mr Sakhi asked the magistrates not to issue a warrant for his client's arrest but instead to adjourn the case for a week. He said: "His mother gets paid in two days and he will be able to afford to get here."

But prosecutor Ryan Houghton told the magistrates that it wasn't the first time Smith had failed to show up for a court hearing. He said that after being charged with the Boston offence, Smith had missed a hearing in early March in Boston.

After that, Smith surrendered to a police station and attended a Leicester Magistrates' Court hearing where he admitted all the offending. But the court heard that Smith had then failed to arrive for a meeting with the probation service, attending at a later date via videolink.

Susan Halcroft, chair of the bench, said: "The bench will issue a warrant not backed for bail. There's no guarantee he'll attend on the next occasion.

"His attendance is sporadic. He should be here and he isn't."

A warrant not backed for bail means that after he is arrested by Leicestershire Police, Smith will be held in custody and brought directly to the court, rather than being released on bail.