Update: Witness, 16, to give evidence in assault trial of Norwich health boss Jonathon Fagge

Jonathon Fagge, CEO of Norwich Clinical Commissioning Group. Picture: Denise Bradley

Jonathon Fagge, CEO of Norwich Clinical Commissioning Group. Picture: Denise Bradley - Credit: Archant 2013

A Norwich health boss in charge of commissioning care for 212,000 people in the city will appear in court next month accused of assaulting his wife.

The chief executive of Norwich Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), Jonathon Fagge, is charged with assault by beating against Katy Fagge and will appear for trial in Norwich Magistrates' Court on February 9.

The 44-year-old, from Stafford Street, Norwich, allegedly assaulted his wife – a sports therapist – on October 1 last year in Long Stratton.

His case was in court today for mention, but Mr Fagge did not attend.

Counsel agreed that a 16-year-old independent witness could give evidence via video link at the trial, and would remain anonymous due to her age.

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Away from the court, a spokesman for the CCG said the chief executive 'strongly denied' the allegations and had pleaded not guilty.

Fagge temporarily stepped aside in November as chief executive of the CCG – which has a budget of £216m to commission care for 212,000 people in Norwich and part of Broadland.

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Since November 10, the CCG's chief finance officer, Jo Smithson, has been acting chief executive. The CCG had described Fagge's absence as 'compassionate leave' rather than a suspension.

The news of his absence, and the fact that the body has had new leadership since November, was reported by our publications this week.

The CCG spokesman said: 'When it became clear that matters would definitely proceed to a trial it was agreed that he [Fagge] should step aside until this is resolved.

'The CCG has continued to be strongly led and its programme of work has also continued at pace.'

The spokesman added: 'It is clearly a difficult personal situation for Mr Fagge and his family, which inevitably would have an impact on his ability to carry out his role. Mr Fagge's absence was described as compassionate leave as it best fitted the circumstances.'

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