A JUDGE has issued a warrant for the arrest and detention of a man who was caught with two kitchen knives in a town centre street.

Kevin Roberts was due to face sentence at Swindon Crown Court for affray and possessing a bladed article.

Roberts, 33, failed to attend, instead faxing through a doctor’s note saying he was suffering from gastroenteritis.

But Judge Euan Ambrose still issued the warrant noting that Roberts had failed to attend on a number of previous occasions with similar excuses.

And he also observed that the medical note which had been submitted suggested a doctor had not declared him unfit to attend court.

He said: “In different circumstances against a different background the note would perhaps have a different complexion.

“It says he feels he is too unwell to attend court. It is not a doctor making an assessment.

“One concludes Mr Roberts is a reluctant attendee and is keen to grasp any excuse not to attend here.”

He issued a warrant without bail to bring the defendant before the court.

Roberts was due to attend for sentencing on November 25 but phoned his solicitor that morning to say he was suffering bleeding.

Two weeks earlier on November 10, and a week before that on November 3, he had provided medical notes indicating he had gastroenteritis.

A warrant had been issued on September 17 when he failed to attend and he surrendered to it with a medical certificate explaining his absence.

He attended crown court on September 22, when a judge adjourned the case for six weeks and ordered a psychiatric report.

Roberts, of Tippett Avenue, Blunsdon St Andrew, but formerly of Argyle Street and Parklands Road, pleaded guilty to affray and having a bladed article on Euclid Street on November 2009.

Martin Wiggins, defending, told the court that his client had a history of mental health problems.