A man who urged his mother to “kidnap” his ex-partner so she could not give evidence against him has not been seen for “three months”.
Daniel Rutter, 29, was secretly recorded making telephone calls from prison to his mother and step-father asking them to stop the woman from attending Hull Magistrates’ Court on January 30. On that day, Rutter was due to stand trial for criminal damage, common assault and breaching a restraining order.
When she did turn up to give evidence, Rutter admitted the offences and changed his plea to guilty, and was jailed for 20 weeks, having also admitted breaching a suspended sentence.
Because of the two calls he made to try and stop his ex partner, who Hull Crown Court heard is now in a relationship with Rutter’s brother, from attending the court, he was charged with perverting the course of justice.
He made the calls from HMP Hull, where he was being held on remand, at 8.05am and 8.41am on January 24. In one, he said: “I just need you to kidnap [former partner]. Make sure she doesn’t turn up and none of us will get done.”
Rutter attended the Crown court on Wednesday to be tried for perverting the course of justice, but left after receiving “robust advice” from his barrister, Stephen Robinson, and failed to come back.
A warrant was issued for his arrest and Rutter was tried in his absence, although he was still represented in court by Mr Robinson. A jury of seven women and five men took less than an hour on Thursday to find him guilty of perverting the course of justice after a two-day trial.
In his closing speech, Mr Robinson said Rutter had not really meant the kidnap threat to be taken seriously, and was merely “venting his frustration”.
At the conclusion of the trial, which was prosecuted by Phillip Evans, Judge David Tremberg told the jury “strenuous” efforts had been made to find Rutter. These included unanswered phone calls from his solicitor, and visits by police to his and his mother’s addresses in Burton Agnes.
Police also spoke to Rutter’s neighbours, who said they had not seen him “for three months”, Mr Evans said.
Rutter will be sentenced in person when he has been arrested and brought to court.
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