Grantham court: Lost phone blamed for missing unpaid work

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A Grantham man who from the start failed to complete any unpaid work as part of his community order said that it was because he had lost his phone.

Lee Anthony Rhodes, 24, of Great Close, South Witham, was sentenced to a community order on June 8 to complete 100 hours of unpaid work following a public order act offence when he turned up at the address of the widow of a friend.

He returned to Grantham Magistrates’ Court on Monday after failing to comply with the order, and not attending either of his first appointments with the Probation Service.

Chris Payne, from the probation service, explained that Rhodes missed his first appointment on June 10 and a replacement one two days later, and moreover failed to respond to telephone calls, letters and a text message.

Representing himself in court, Rhodes said that when he came to court previously he had lost his phone, although he didn’t mention this despite being told he would be contacted by probation for an appointment.

When magistrate Susan Painter questioned Rhodes on why he did not tell them this at his last appearence, he replied: “I just panicked.”

He also said that by the time he had seen the letter for the second appointment it was too late, and that he had been trying to comply with the order.

Mrs Painter told Rhodes: “You have made an absolutely lousy start.” The magistrates agreed with probation to mark the breach by putting 10 additional hours on Rhodes’ unpaid work requirement.