‘Too big to arrest’ woman not in court

Rita Astbury claims to have mobility issues.

Rita Astbury claims to have mobility issues.

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A woman once described as being too big to arrest could not come to court because she was having problems moving, magistrates were told.

Rita Astbury, who has weighed up to 26 stones, should have attend court to be sentenced for allowing a child to play truant from school.

Defence lawyer, Robert Castle, told Blackpool magistrates that Astbury, 57, of Milbourne Street, Blackpool, had texted him that morning.

Mr Castle said: “I telephoned her and she said she was unwell and physically unable to come to court.

“She said she had difficulty with her mobility and was in bed.”

Suzanne Holroyd, prosecuting for Blackpool Council’s education department, said Astbury was convicted in her absence on September 11 of knowingly failing to ensure a child’s attendance at school.

Astbury was convicted of allowing a 16-year-old to play truant from Blackpool’s Collegiate High School between February and May this year.

Astbury did not attendthe previous two hearings of the case.

Ms Holroyd said: “This is the first time we have had any communication with the defendant.”

Blackpool magistrates bailed Astbury to attend court and/or produce medical evidence stating that she is unwell.

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