Mansfield murder trial halted by toothache

Nottingham Crown COurt.
Nottingham Crown COurt.

The trial into the murder of Mansfield man Emiel Blankert has ground to halt on day two after the defendant failed to appear in court because of toothache.

Michelle Swift (48), who was the partner of Mr Blankert, did not make the journey from Peterborough Prison- where she is being kept on remand - to Nottingham Crown Court.

Miss Swift, of Ladybrook Place, Mansfield, began sobbing towards the end of the first of her trial and clutching her jaw.

And at the start of the second day, Judge Michael Stoke QC, was told by her defence barrister Michael Auty QC that she had not made it to court because the prison said she was ‘medically unfit to travel’.

Despite attempts to contact Peterborough Prison for more information - including Judge Stokes personally trying to contact the governor - little more information was gleaned.

It was found that she was receiving antibiotics for an abscess on her tooth.

Judge Stokes blamed the prison for the hold up, and not Michelle Swift, adding: said: “I’m not having this, it’s completely unacceptable and I have made a complaint to the prison’s minister.

“I respectfully disagree with the prison, it does not prevent her from travelling.”

The jury has been sent home until tomorrow.

It is the second time the trial has been stopped after the scheduled first day was adjourned last week when there was a problem with transport from Peterborough.

It is thought that a murder trial can cost up to £10,000 a day.

Michelle Swift denies murdering Emiel Blankert in December of last year. Mr Blankert died from a serious stomach injury, days after he was attacked and after he was admitted to King’s Mill Hospital.