Beds, Herts & Bucks

Houghton Regis sex assault case halted over victim's death

A man who sexually assaulted an 80-year-old woman at her Bedfordshire home has had his sentencing adjourned following the victim's death.

Darren Emmerson, 40, of Houghton Regis, was due to be sentenced earlier after admitting the 18 March attack.

Police revealed on Thursday the woman had died.

Luton Crown Court heard further inquiries were being carried out because her death had happened soon after the offence.

The woman, who was also from Houghton Regis, was attacked after opening her door to someone she wrongly thought was a neighbour.

Beverley Cripps prosecuting said: "Sadly the victim has died very shortly after this sexual offence was committed.

"Due to her death occurring in close proximity to the offence there have been further investigations started and there may or may not be further charges emanating from that."

Emmerson, of Parkside Drive, admitted the sexual assault before magistrates, who had sent the case to Luton Crown Court for sentence.

Judge David Farrell QC said on Friday: "This case is serious and a custodial sentence in one form or another is inevitable."

He adjourned the case until June.

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