Warwick OAP death case could still go ahead

William Heathcote
William Heathcote
0
Have your say

Prosecutors are to ask the High Court to overturn a judge’s ruling that there is no case against a man accused of causing a Warwick pensioner’s death.

Steven Jones, 25, from Warwick but of no fixed address, had been charged with the manslaughter of 75-year-old William Heathcote in November 2014.

The pensioner died after collapsing with heart failure following a confrontation with Jones, who had banged on the window of his home in Pickard Street.

Following a submission by Jones’s barrister Andrew Fisher QC earlier this month, a judge at Warwick Crown Court ruled that, given the circumstances, there was no case against him in law.

But following an adjournment for Judge Richard Griffith-Jones’s ruling to be considered, prosecutor Benjamin Amina QC revealed: “The Crown has served on the High Court, and on solicitors for Mr Jones, an application for a Voluntary Bill.”

A Voluntary Bill of Indictment is another way in which a person can be charged with an alleged offence.

It is a way of challenging the judge’s ruling by asking the High Court to reinstate the manslaughter charge.

Outlining the procedure following the serving of the application, Mr Amina explained: “The High Court judge will look at it and see whether he needs any further representations from the defence.”

Asked by Judge Griffith-Jones whether a transcript of his ruling would be considered, Mr Amina said: “It’s a matter for the learned judge whether he wants to order a transcript.”

And he pointed out that one complicating factor was that it was the end of the High Court ‘term’ at the end of July – so it might have to be put over until September.

Judge Griffith-Jones commented: “I’m concerned about a number of things. The first is that at the moment the defence have no role in the hearing until or unless the High Court judge says he wants the defendant to have legal aid.”