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‘I wouldn’t go to court again’ says alleged victim of sex abuse as trial constantly postponed and defendant dies

PUBLISHED: 06:42 08 February 2018 | UPDATED: 09:35 08 February 2018

Charity Victim Support warned long court delays were adding to the distress for victims and witnesses. Photo: Clara Molden/PA Wire

Charity Victim Support warned long court delays were adding to the distress for victims and witnesses. Photo: Clara Molden/PA Wire

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An alleged victim of historical sexual offences said she feels “enormous” frustration after waiting years to see her alleged abuser stand trial.

The case against Albert New who died awaiting trial was dismissed by Judge Katharine Moore last week. Picture: Denise BradleyThe case against Albert New who died awaiting trial was dismissed by Judge Katharine Moore last week. Picture: Denise Bradley

The accused, Albert New, died in January ahead of a trial which had been listed for the ninth time at Norwich Crown Court for April.

Mr New was arrested in February 2014 and charged in May 2015 with 12 charges of indecent assault and three charges of gross indecency with a child under the age of 14. The allegations dated back to the 1960s.

A first trial date was given nine months later for March 2016.

With the defendant too ill to travel, the trial was moved from Croydon to Norwich, but hearings kept getting cancelled or postponed because of Mr New’s ill-health.

The victim questioned how the defence was able to keep delaying the trial without always providing full medical evidence.

In a letter to the court she wrote: “In my opinion, the defence has been inefficient, disorganised and not committed to this trial.

“Without the continuous strength and support from my husband these long drawn out court proceedings would have been unbearable.

“There is no closure for me, and I have no hope that there will ever be.

“I would like the court to be aware of the massive detrimental impact these proceedings have had on my life. I would certainly not do it again.”

Speaking after the case ended at Norwich Crown Court last week, she said: “We’ve had trial after trial attempted.

“I was hopeful each time a trial would go ahead. We were ready, you get time off work, you get yourself prepared. It makes you extremely sad.”

It has been two-and-a-half years since the case was first listed in a court and four-and-a-half years since the first alleged victim came forward.

She said Mr New’s death came as a “total shock”.

A Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) spokesman said: “We sympathise fully with the complainants’ concerns about these delays and the prosecution took firm steps to progress matters, including asking for medical evidence and arguing robustly against defence requests for the case to be abandoned.

“Our view has always been that this prosecution was in the public interest and this was unaffected by medical evidence provided by the defence.”

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