A MAN accused of historical sex offences alleged to have happened in the 1970s and early 1980s in Ellesmere Port has died before his trial could take place.

Ian Arthur Padmore, 59, was due to stand trial at Chester Crown Court on January 13, 2020.

Previously, he had denied one count of raping an underage girl on at least three occasions when he appeared at the court for a plea and trial preparation hearing.

He had also denied seven counts of indecent assault. Five of those counts involved an underage girl and were alleged to have taken place in the 1970s. The other two counts involved an underage boy and were said to have taken place in the late 1970s and early 1980s.

But at Chester Crown Court on Monday, October 21, Judge Simon Berkson heard the defendant – who had been living in Long Ditton, Surbiton – had passed away on October 2 in Kingston Hospital.

His death was witnessed by his son, the court heard, and a death certificate had been produced to say he had "effectively died of natural causes".

As a result, the case against him could proceed no further and Judge Berkson said the trial slot reserved for next January would be removed from the court list.