LAWYERS working for a former Chippenham man who claims to be innocent of an assault have been given extra time to apply to reopen the case.

Connor Macallister, 32, was convicted in his absence last month after he failed to turn up to his trial at Swindon Magistrates’ Court.

Macallister, who appeared before the same court on Saturday after he was picked up by police on a court warrant, said a spell in hospital had prevented him from attending.

JPs adjourned sentencing the man, who has 19 precious convictions for 33 offences, until July 10 when he will appear before them on another matter. The court heard it could give lawyers acting for Macallister time to decide whether to apply to reopen the assault case.

Macallister, now of William Street, Bristol, who appeared in the dock wearing a camouflage t-shirt and close-cropped dark hair, was remanded in custody.