A woman who racially abused two young Asian shop assistants refused to come out of her cell to be sentenced when she was brought to Burnley Crown Court.
Judge Simon Newell and court staff abandoned their formal attire and tried time and again to encourage Irish-born Fidelma Doran to make an appearance.
She has refused any legal assistance since being charged with racial abuse, saying the British legal system is part of a bigger conspiracy involving the Government and monarchy.
At tea time on June 25th she went into the Tesco petrol station shop in Burnley and began shouting and throwing things at two young women behind the counter, calling them Pakistani.
DC Ian Sherringham, who was off duty, was racially abused for being English when he went to the women’s aid.
She denied the allegations and insisted on representing herself at trial. However, on the morning of the hearing she changed her mind, pleaded guilty to racial abuse by beating and said she wanted to be sentenced. The Crown did not proceed with the allegation involving DC Sherringham.
Judge Newell remanded her to Styal women’s prison but, a week later, she was transferred to a mental health unit, where she remains.
A report from the unit suggested she was delusional, had a deteriorating mental illness and, as such, was not fit to plead.
However, she had sent a lucid, well-written letter to the court saying she was well aware of the proceedings and the evidence against her.
Judge Newell adjourned the hearing for a further psychiatric report before passing sentence.