BOURNEMOUTH Magistrates Court was forced to delay a hearing for a serving prisoner after staff at the jail couldn’t find him.

Benjamin Woodman was due to appear at the court last Monday, January 6, on charges of using threatening words or behaviour to cause harassment, alarm or distress and possession of class B drugs.

However, after court officials set up a video link to Winchester Prison, it was discovered that he couldn’t be found, and his hearing was postponed until Friday.

Alan Stafford, defending, said: “He was due to appear here on Monday.

“The court was ready and the screens were set up, but then the staff at Winchester couldn’t find him. The District Judge had strong words to say.”

When he finally appeared on the Friday, Woodman, 29, of Charles Crescent in New Milton, pleaded guilty to both offences and received a six-month conditional discharge by magistrates.

Prosecuting, Lisa Dytham said that on November 27 last year, Woodman visited the BP garage in Castle Lane East, Bournemouth, and asked if he could steal items before lying down in the entrance to the car wash.

He later returned and shouted aggressively at customers.

He was also found with 0.3 grammes of amphetamine during a body search by police.