A GUN plotter who went on the run during his trial ‘played the system’, a Judge has said.

Judge Heather Lloyd, who had given Hasriat Omar Khan dispensation not to attend on certain days of his trial after he had claimed his wife was having pregnancy complications also said he had ‘taken advantage of judicial generosity’.

Preston Crown Court heard that Khan, of Bishop Street, Accrington, had failed to turn up on numerous occasions, sometimes claiming to be ill, before eventually going on the run.

Judge Lloyd said the 32-year-old had failed to provide any medical evidence of his own sickness or the pregnancy complications of his wife.

Khan was convicted in his absence of conspiring to possess a firearm with intent to cause fear of violence after a shotgun blast at a house in Beaconsfield Street, Haslingden, in May 2017.

Following his conviction on April 11 a warrant was issued for his arrest and he was sentenced to nine years’ imprisonment.

Khan’s time on the run was brought to an end in Blackburn last month when police deployed a stinger to stop his attempts to escape in a Peugeot Boxer. The court heard he had given false personal details to police when they arrested him.

Following that incident Blackburn magistrates sentenced him to 16 weeks in custody for driving without due care and attention, driving while disqualified and without insurance.

Khan found himself back in the dock this week where he pleaded guilty to failing to surrender to custody in relation to his time on the run.

Defending, Jonathan Turner said: “When he realised he had been convicted he maintained his absence.

“He was concerned about the other defendants in the case who were serving custodial sentences and that if he were to be sent to the same prison as them then he would be attacked.”

Jailing Khan for a further 28 days, Judge Heather Lloyd said: “During the proceedings of your trial you seemed to have attended and left court whenever it suited you. You didn’t attend for several days during your trial and your counsel has used several phrases which I would agree with. Firstly that you took advantage of judicial generosity and secondly that you were potentially indulged.

“Despite repeatedly asking for sick notes when you purported to be sick, or any medical references to you wife’s pregnancy or difficulties, I didn’t get a single document.

“You would be absent for one day and attend the next. You knew what the system was I have no doubt that you were playing it.

“I’m satisfied that you absconded because you knew the police were looking for you in relation to an allegation of assault on the woman who had just given birth to your baby.

“Fortunately the trial was able to proceed in your absence.

“This was a deliberate attempt to evade and delay justice. However justice was not delayed because I didn’t allow it.”

Prosecuting, Keith Sutton said : “While the defendant’s failure to attend caused some disruption to the trial it didn’t cause it to be halted. I would suggest this was a deliberate and sustained failure to attend.”