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Havering Tory ‘love triangle’ trial delayed

PUBLISHED: 18:00 15 November 2010 | UPDATED: 11:13 16 November 2010

Havering Magistrates Court

Havering Magistrates Court

Archant

THE TRIAL of a former Havering councillor accused of harassment and assault has been delayed because he was at hospital when the matter was due to be heard.

Former Tory councillor for Pettits Ward, Kevin Gregory, failed to appear at Havering Magistrates’ Court today (Monday) where he was expected to face a day trial over allegations stemming from an alleged Tory love triangle saga earlier this year.

Gregory, of Blackmore House, Copenhagen Street, Islington, faces allegations of harassment of ex-girlfriend Laura Murphy and former colleague Councillor Robert Benham through text and voice mail messages and a further charge of assault by beating of Miss Murphy at her home, in Chalforde Gardens, Gidea Park, all on January 20 this year.

Mr Hugh O’Donoghue, who was representing Gregory, only found out moments before the hearing was due to start the reason for Gregory’s absence.

He said: “I got a text saying he was on his way to University College Hospital, in London.

“I asked a solicitor to try to phone him to see what the story was but the phone wasn’t in effect. If he was in an ambulance that would make sense.”

The prosecution witnesses were also late arriving.

District Judge John Woollard adjourned the matter while enquiries were made.

Returning to court an hour later Mr Donoghue said: “A solicitor has contacted the hospital. He [Gregory] is in hospital but they are refusing to give any details on what for.

“I think it’s inevitable that I have to apply to adjourn the matter.”

Judge Woollard, who put the withheld medical details down to patient confidentiality, said: “Make sure he produces a medical certificate detailing the reasons for his failure to attend today.”

The court heard the trial, re-listed for January 27, would include evidence from five defence witnesses and three prosecution witnesses.

A possible second day was also reserved for February 14.


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