Warrant issued for arrest of former X Factor hopeful after she fails to show for court

Paige Flaherty leaving South Tyneside Magistrates Court after a previous hearing.
Paige Flaherty leaving South Tyneside Magistrates Court after a previous hearing.

A warrant has been issued for the arrest of a former X Factor hopeful – after she failed to show up for a court hearing over accusations she breached the terms of a suspended sentence.

Paige Flaherty, who auditioned for the hit talent show as part of the band Twisted in 2011, is facing jail after skipping her court date at South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court yesterday.

The 21-year-old had denied failing to turn up for a required appointment with the probation service as part of a six-month suspended jail term imposed at a previous hearing.

But her defence solicitor Ian Haq withdrew from the case and the breach was found proved in her absence after she failed to attend the hearing.

Flaherty, of Fife Avenue, Jarrow, was accused of failing to attend a probation hearing on June 5 of this year.

She was handed the prison sentence - suspended for 24 months – at Newcastle Crown Court last December for an offence of theft.

Heidi Hannon, Flaherty’s supervising probation officer, told the court that she had written to Flaherty after she didn’t attend her appointment on June 5, asking her to turn up for another meeting on June 30 – but she again didn’t show up.

Christopher McKee, prosecuting on behalf of the probation service, said: “The default position for a breach of a suspended sentence is activation of that sentence, unless you feel it is unjust to do so.

“My application is for a warrant so she can be brought to court to be sentenced.”

Laverne Elrick, chair of the magistrates, issued a warrant without bail for Flaherty’s arrest.

aige Flaherty was told by a crown court judge she had been given her ‘final chance’ to stay out of jail after

she was slapped with a suspended prison term in December.

The sentence was imposed at Newcastle Crown Court after she admitted stealing a man’s iPhone, along with £200, from his mother’s purse, in June 2013.

It was just the latest addition to the singing hopeful’s growing criminal record.

In April 2013 she was given a six-month jail sentence – suspended for 18 months – after ploughing into pedestrian Chris Brown in her bandmate’s Mini.

She was arrested after the victim spotted her performing on the smash hit show.

She pleaded guilty to aggravated vehicle taking, taking without the owner’s consent and two charges of driving otherwise in accordance with a licence and no insurance.

In June 2013, she received a community order at South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court after admitting stealing a pal’s purse containing £460 cash in March of that year.