A BENCH warrant has been executed to ensure a woman accused of a robbery charge appeared before a court.

Helen Jones was bailed to appear at Durham Crown Court, while recently sitting in Newcastle, on May 28.

But she failed to appear for the hearing and a warrant was issued for her arrest.

Following execution of the warrant, she appeared at the court, now sitting back at Durham, via video link from a police custody suite.

She claimed she had not received prior notice of the court hearing, but, when she did receive that notification, albeit after the hearing date, she failed to hand herself in to police.

The initial charge of robbery was then put to her, and the 39-year-old defendant, of Palm Lea, Brandon, pleaded not guilty.

She is accused of stealing a gold chain and two rings, plus a purse, containing £27, after allegedly attacking another woman, with whom she had been drinking, in Brandon, on June 27, 2019.

Mr Mochrie said she accepted being at present at that address at the time, but denied any robbery took place or that she took any property, and claims she, herself, was assaulted.

The case was adjourned for a trial, starting on September 14, but Judge Ray Singh remanded the defendant in custody in the intervening period.