A THIEF who said she was too sick to attend court has entered herself in a 10k race, a prosecution lawyer has claimed.

Amanda Wood, 55, of Wiveliscombe Road, Preston Bowyer, near Milverton, stole £122,500 from her lover, who she met on a dating website.

She has already pleaded guilty to theft and was due at Taunton Crown Court this morning (Tuesday) for sentencing.

But she failed to appear for the third time this year, with a doctor's note saying she is suffering from stress and is "unfit for work".

Patrick Mason, defending, said Wood has a "mental illness".

He added: "Somebody is sending her material through the post that really shouldn't be sent.

"It included a parcel addressed to 'Jail Bird Amanda Wood' containing a swag bag and various other anonymous communications that haven't contributed to her mental good health."

William Hunter, prosecuting, told Judge David Ticehurst that Wood's victim had attended court three times in the hope of seeing Wood sentenced.

Mr Hunter added: "She  (Wood) has entered herself in a 10k race on Sunday.

"One does wonder how sick she really is or whether she's simply trying to avoid the day of sentencing."

The judge ordered Wood to attend court tomorrow (Wednesday) and said he would order a warrant for her arrest if she failed to attend.