A PRANK led to a man being locked up on Christmas Day.
Michael James Edwards, 55, had been tagged pending a trial accused of burglary in January.
But his bail was breached on Christmas Eve when the tag on his leg showed he was not at home in Holly Drive, Connah’s Quay.
Edwards said he was at home observing his 7pm to 7am tag when a so-called friend called around. The friend wanted him to go out, but Edwards said he refused.
He went for a shower but when he went back to the living room the security box had gone and there was a note there saying “you have to come out now”. The friend had picked up the tag security box and ran out of the house with it in a hold-all.
Flintshire magistrates were told the friend took the tag box so that Edwards could go to the pub with him.
Edwards said he ran down the street after him to get the security box but it was driven off by some lads in a car who thought it was a joke. He returned home and kept to his curfew but it was not his fault, he said.
Edwards was arrested on Christmas Day and held in custody until today when he appeared at a special Boxing Day court hearing. He admitted a technical breach of his curfew.
Prosecutor Christine O’Kane told the Mold court it was Edwards second breach and she applied for a remand in custody.
Edwards was told he could have rung CIRCO, the tag company, or the police.
But Edwards said he had no credit on his phone, had returned to the flat and expected the police to arrest the other man and return the tag box.
Brian Cross, defending, applied for bail and said the magistrates were dealing with very unusual circumstances. He had no intention of breaching his bail at all.
“I think he needs to choose his mates more carefully,” Mr Cross said.
He accepted it was Edwards’ responsibility to look after the box but he wanted to make a formal complaint to the police about his friend stealing the tag security box, which had been returned to him the following day.
Magistrates said they would give him his very last chance and they rebailed him on the same conditions. He was warned that if he returned to court again then he would be locked up.
A very relieved Edwards told magistrates: “I am staying in. No one is coming around to my flat on New Year’s Eve.”
Edwards denies burglary at a Buy and Sell lock-up garage on November 2.