A judge has said there is “absolutely no realistic prospect of rehabilitation” for a prolific offender, after he refused to leave his prison cell to attend his sentence hearing.

Christian Niven was due to appear at Preston Crown Court on Friday (December 22) to be sentenced for criminal damage, affray, possession of a bladed article in a public place and assault of an emergency worker, but refused to leave his prison cell.

Niven, who has 26 convictions for 55 offences has also refused to co-operate with the probation service over the last few months, with Judge Richard Archer saying that only an immediate custodial sentence would be appropriate.

Prosecuting, Tom Farr told the court that on November 4, a man called Paul Shaw was asleep at home but around 4.30am he heard a loud bang.

He said: “He then heard another loud bang so went to the front bedroom and could see the defendant in the middle of the road, shouting, ‘watch, I am going to kill you’.

“Mr Shaw said he was also holding a knife which looked like it had a seven or eight-inch blade.

“Mr Shaw shouted back, ‘who are you?’, to which Niven replied, ‘you are bullying my son’.

“The defendant continued to threaten him, and the victim made his way downstairs.

“He could see the defendant waving the knife around.

“The police were called, and the defendant ran off.”

Mr Farr said when the victim answered the door to the police, he noticed that there had been damage to some garden ornaments, to the value of around £70.

Three days later, in Bacup, the defendant was seen acting aggressively and hitting cars in the street. The police attended and he tried to throw a wheelie bin at one of the officers.

He ran off but was located not far away and was resistant towards the police who were required to Taser him in order to make an arrest.

Niven, 33, pleaded guilty to the offences.

Sentencing him to 15 months in prison, Judge Archer said: “I am sentencing the defendant in his absence after he flatly refused to attend his sentence hearing.

“I was going to give him the benefit of the doubt, but on two occasions he also refused to co-operate with the probation service.

“In my judgement it’s in the interests of justice to pass sentence on him in his absence.

“There’s absolutely no realistic prospect of rehabilitation here. There’s no co-operation with probation, and those factors combined with the fact the defendant committed two incidents of public disorder leads me to conclude that this can only be dealt with by immediate custody.”