The family of homeless man Michael Cash feel they were cheated out of the chance to see his tormentor Aaron Jones punished in court.
An apparent mistake saw Mr Cash’s family told that the hearing would take place on October 12, instead of October 10 when Jones, 33, was dealt with.
Michael’s sister Sarah Carmen, 33, said the family had relished the prospect of “looking Jones in the face” after his cowardly spray paint attack on September 6.
Michael was tragically found dead days later in Eston Cemetery, leaving his family distraught and anxious to see his attacker face justice.
However no family members attended court when painter and decorator Jones pleaded guilty to assault and criminal damage and was given a community order.
They spoke afterwards of their fury that he came to court wearing a Frankenstein mask.
But now Sarah is “absolutely fuming” and demanding answers from Cleveland Police as to why they were given the wrong date.
She claims a letter from a witness care officer at the force, sent on October 1, gave them the incorrect date.
She said: “I am furious I wasn’t able to go to court to look Jones in the face.
“I hope that wasn’t done deliberately to keep us away just because that coward was so scared he needed a police escort.
“We had intended to go because we wanted to see him face his punishment, which as it turned out was nowhere near getting justice for Michael.”
Cleveland Police has been asked for comment.
Jones, of Balmoral Road, Normanby, was given an 18 month community order in court, alongside 180 unpaid work days by Chairman of the bench, Stephen Walker.
He must also complete 20 rehabilitation days, pay £100 compensation and £170 court costs.
Police have not linked the paint attack with Mr Cash’s death