Preston pensioner may be 'unfit to plead' to child abuse allegations
A pensioner accused of a string of rapes and sexual offences against children, dating back more than 50 years, may be deemed medically unfit to plead to the charges.
John Edward Brown, 81, of Fir Trees Place, Ribbleton, Preston, is accused of 21 charges relating to three girls.
He is accused of six rapes, eight counts of gross indecency, seven of indecent assault, dating back as far as 1968.
The complainants cannot be identified for legal reasons.
A case management hearing took place at Preston Crown Court before Judge Simon Medland QC in which it emerged Brown is in poor health.
He warned members of family sitting in the public gallery that the “most likely outcome” is he will be unfit to plead, and that a report was being sought from a second psychiatrist.
It means his trial proceedings will still go ahead but not in the usual way.
If a Crown Court decides someone is unfit to plead, it will hold a trial of the facts and decide whether the defendant did the crime.
If it is found the person did do the crimes the court can impose a hospital order or supervision.
Brown’s trial date has been set for July 12, with a further hearing on July 2.
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