Case discontinued against Clitheroe man charged with theft

Prosecutors have discontinued a case against a Clitheroe man charged with two counts of theft.

Prosecutors discontinue case
Prosecutors discontinue case

Ashley Williams (40), of Riverside, was charged with stealing money to the value of £43,208 from Barbara Bury, between April 19th, 2009 and February 8th, 2013. Williams was also accused of stealing money to the value of £68,820 from Charles Blundell, between April 29th, 2012 and December 4th, 2013.

However, the Crown Prosecution Service has discontinued its case against Williams declaring he is unfit to stand trial.

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Det. Con. Richard Buckley, of Lancashire Constabulary, said: “Throughout the investigation, Williams was interviewed on a couple of occasions where he did make partial admissions. On the final occasion he was interviewed, however, Williams was clearly not fit and the interview had to be suspended.

“Charges were subsequently authorised by the CPS as there was a realistic prospect of conviction due to the admissions and evidence gathered.

“Williams was summoned to court to attend in September 2017.

“He didn’t attend on medical grounds.

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“Further adjournments came and went until expert psychiatric reports were ordered by the court.

“The defence obtained three reports declaring Williams unfit to stand trial. After a consultation between myself and the CPS, the decision was made to discontinue the prosecution as it was not in public interest to proceed to a trial.

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“On June 4th, HHJ Parry discontinued the case, however, the ‘indictment will stay’ meaning that the prosecution could be reopened should Williams become fit in the future.

Det. Cons. Buckley added: “With 15 years’ service left before my retirement, I will always be ready to reopen this case should Williams’ personal circumstances change.”