THE case of a 99-year-old man accused of sexually assaulting two children is expected to go before the Attorney General.

John Fitzwilliam, of Lynch Hill Park, Whitchurch, is charged with indecent assault of a girl under the age of 14 between July 2002 and May 2004, and assault of a girl under 13 by touching between July 2010 and July 2014.

Fitzwilliam appeared via video link today (Wednesday) at Winchester Crown Court where he was due to enter pleas to both counts.

Prosecuting, Peter Asteris said that a psychiatric report had been conducted, adding: “Reviewing it, it makes it very clear that the defendant was fit to plead and stand trial.

“I am very aware that she (defence barrister Adrienne Knight) remains concerned about that for a number of reasons.”

Ms Knight said Fitzwilliam would not have a fair trial because of his physical and mild cognitive disabilities.

The defence barrister appeared in court via video link alongside Fitzwilliam in his home. She said that he has "carers hike him out of his bed, he cannot move around on his own at all, [they] dress him, and sit him in the chair”.

The court was told that more detailed reports are being sought to show the defendant’s inability to plea or stand trial.

“He has a Power of Attorney, acting no doubt in his best interest, who is not prepared to release the amount of funds required for a geriatrician report,” Ms Knight said.

“The suggestion is that we go back to the general surgery that prepared the general report and ask for a much fuller report.”

Ms Knight said that she was concerned about his short-term memory which is said to be “bad” and would make it difficult to provide or take instructions during further court hearings.

A nolle prosequi application will now be made by the defence to the Attorney General to stop the prosecution. If successful, the Attorney General only needs to sign a piece of paper saying that he does not wish the prosecution to continue and does not need give any reasons.

In the meantime, an abuse of process hearing has now been listed for August 27, which will determine whether the prosecution should continue.

No pleas have yet been entered and Fitzwilliam was given unconditional bail.