Sidmouth man cleared of assault after death of alleged victim


- Credit: Archant

A man has been cleared of assault and affray after the alleged victim died before the case could be heard.

Stewart Crossley had been facing a trial at Exeter Crown Court accused of two separate incidents in Sidford, involving the same complainant.

He was alleged to have assaulted 32-year-old Richard Hudson in November last year and threatened him with a knife in a second confrontation in February.

Mr Hudson, from Manstone Avenue, was found dead at a house in Lock Close, on May 27, this year. The cause has not been ascertained but was not related to either incident.

Crossley, aged 34, of Aldenshaw, Manchester, denied assault causing actual bodily harm and affray and was found not guilty by Recorder Michael Vere-Hodge after the prosecution offered no evidence.

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Gordon Richings, prosecuting, said it was impossible for the case to continue without the complainant’s evidence because Crossley is claiming self defence in respect of both charges.

Crossley faces a further charge of assaulting a policeman by spitting at him during his arrest but this will now be heard by Central Devon Magistrates, rather than the crown court.

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Emily Cook, defending, asked for a tagged curfew that has been in place for several months to be lifted and the judge agreed.

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