A HALT has been called to court proceedings in the case of a 90-year-old man facing historical child sex allegations – because he is unfit to stand trial.
Leonard Huddart had faced a total of 19 charges brought as part of an investigation by detectives from West Cumbria’s crime and safeguarding team.
Eleven of the charges allege rape, seven allege indecent assault and one alleges indecency with a child. The time period covered by the charges stretches from 1974 to 1984.
The case of Huddart, previously of Cockermouth, was listed for a hearing at Carlisle Crown Court today (TUES) with a trial date having already been identified for later in the year.
But prosecutor Robert Dudley told Judge Peter Davies the defendant was deemed “unfit to be tried”. “The Crown have considered the position,” said Mr Dudley. “It is not in the public interest to proceed to trial or to rely on a further hearing.”
As a result, Mr Dudley asked for a “stay” in the indictment – the charge sheet – which halts further legal process but which could be reconsidered in the event of further developments. Judge Davies agreed.
Huddart – represented in court by barrister Kim Whittlestone – was not present for the short hearing.