Accused 'had swine flu'

by Lorraine King A man accused of attacking a cab firm owner failed to turn up at court yesterday claiming he is suffering from swine flu. Zaid Al-Safee, 20, of Dalgarno Way, North Kensington, was due to appear before Southwark Crown Cour

by Lorraine King

A man accused of attacking a cab firm owner failed to turn up at court yesterday claiming he is suffering from swine flu.

Zaid Al-Safee, 20, of Dalgarno Way, North Kensington, was due to appear before Southwark Crown Court charged with assault occasioning actual bodily harm.

He allegedly punched Essam Gaurad in the head in September last year.

Edith Norman, defending, told the court: "The defendant telephoned my instructing solicitor this morning and said that he has swine flu.

"He was told that he needs a medical note but this has not been forthcoming."

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Judge Deborah Taylor has given him a week to prove he has the potentially deadly bug which is threatening to sweep across the nation.

lorraine.king@archant.co.uk