Former Co-op Bank boss Paul Flowers failed to attend court for a plea hearing (Picture: PA)
An arrest warrant has been issued for a former Co-op Bank boss after he failed to appear in court accused of fraud.
Paul Flowers was due to enter a plea at Manchester Crown Court on Wednesday after it was alleged he illegally tried to gain £68,000 by abusing his position.
But the 73-year-old did not show up to the hearing and the judge has issued a warrant for his arrest.
Prosecutor Brian Treadwell said the solicitor previously instructed by Flowers had now lost contact with him.
Judge Timothy Smith said: ‘I issue a bench warrant not backed for bail in light of his non-appearance and being no contact with his solicitor.’
Last month, Flowers made his first appearance at Manchester Magistrates’ Court.
Two earlier hearings were aborted when his lawyers said he had recently suffered a stroke and could not attend.
Flowers, 73, is accused of £68,000 worth of fraud (Picture: PA)
Flowers arrived at the last court hearing with the assistance of a wheeled Zimmer frame (Picture: PA)
On the last occasion, the defendant walked slowly into the dock with the aid of a wheeled Zimmer frame.
Flowers, a former Methodist minister, Labour councillor in both Rochdale and Bradford and chairman of Co-op Bank between 2010 and 2013, did not indicate a plea.
He was told the case could not be dealt with at a magistrates’ court and was granted unconditional bail until Wednesday’s hearing.
The full charge against Flowers, from the magistrates’ court record, read: ‘Between 28/6/16 and 28/10/17 at Salford committed fraud in that while occupying a position, namely Enduring Power of Attorney, in which you were expected to safeguard, or not act against the financial interests of Margaret Mary Jarvis, you dishonestly abused that position intending thereby to make a gain, namely staircase, carpets and 11 cheques paid to the defendant, for yourself, contrary to Sections 1 and 4 of the Fraud Act 2006.’
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He’s accused of fraud.