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Alarm clock fault halts court hearing

PUBLISHED: 08:43 07 December 2009 | UPDATED: 15:51 03 July 2010

A burglar who stole a collection box from Great Yarmouth's landmark St Nicholas Church was unable to be sentenced yesterday because his alarm clock did not go off.

A burglar who stole a collection box from Great Yarmouth's landmark St Nicholas Church was unable to be sentenced yesterday because his alarm clock did not go off.

John Mullen had been found guilty by Yarmouth magistrates at an earlier hearing of burgling the church and taking the box containing £20 in July.

The 26-year-old reappeared before the bench yesterday to be sentenced for his offence.

But the hearing could not go ahead as he had failed to attend a pre-sentence probation report session because he was not woken up by his alarm clock.

Magistrates heard that Mullen, of Walpole Road, Yarmouth, had been due to attend the morning session on November 17 but did not attend because a power cut stopped his clock working.

The power cut happened because someone forgot to put a £2 in a meter.

Ian Fisher, representing Mullen, said after his client had woken up late he had asked the probation service if he could turn up later that day but that was not possible.

The court was also told it was the second time that Mullen had failed to attend a pre-sentence session after he missed the first one because he had a cold and a cracked tooth.

Mr Fisher, in asking for the case to be adjourned again for a proper pre-sentence report, said: “He has come here today to face the music. He has not completely blanked the probation service.”

The court also heard that Mullen's previous convictions did not contain any dishonesty offences.

Mullen's case was adjourned until December 11 and he was bailed on the condition he attends a pre-sentence report session.

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