A warrant was issued after a man failed to turn-up for his plea hearing.

Gary Smith, 33, of Cotswold Crescent, Chipping Norton, was due before Oxford Crown Court last week accused of arson.

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Judge Nigel Daly was told by defence barrister Gordana Austin the man was 'too unwell' to attend court.

But as no medical evidence backing-up the claim was provided by the following morning, the judge issued a warrant for Smith’s arrest not backed for bail – meaning he must be brought to court by the police upon his arrest.

He is accused of torching a woman’s Audi A1 and smashing its windows in Chipping Norton last August and harassing the same woman by sing ‘abusive drunken words and behaviour’ and sending unwanted emails and social media messages.

The offences were allegedly committed between August 25, 2021, and March 1 this year.

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This story was written by Tom Seaward. He joined the team in 2021 as Oxfordshire's court and crime reporter.  

To get in touch with him email: Tom.Seaward@newsquest.co.uk

Follow him on Twitter: @t_seaward