SOLICITOR Joe Fahey appeared in Grafton Local Court saying he was "somewhat surprised" to find his client had not turned up.
Mr Fahey said he had been trying to call the defendant but found his phone was either switched off or, out of range.
The Magistrate was less than pleased, however, he remained realistic about the situation.
"What more can you do, Mr Fahey, send up a smoke signal," he said.
"Unfortunately your Honour there is a fire ban on," said Mr Fahey.
About five minutes later a mobile phone rang out from the public gallery.
"That might be your client now, Mr Fahey," the Magistrate said.