Prison officer from South Shields facing sex assault trial next year after nine month delay agreed

A trial of a prison officer accused of sexual assault of a woman and misconduct has been delayed by nine months.

Thursday, 12th September 2019, 5:45 pm
David Whitfield leaving Newton Aycliffe Magistrates' Court following a previous hearing in the case. Photo credit: Henry Clare/PA Wire.

David Whitfield, 34, was due to stand trial at Teesside Crown Court on Monday, September 30, charged with sexual assault of a woman, and misconduct in relation to eight prisoners at HMP Low Newton, Durham.

Whitffield, of Colman Avenue, South Shields, denies all the charges.

Toby Hedworth QC, defending, told a pre-trial hearing the defence has yet to receive all documents required in the case from the prosecution, known as ‘disclosure’.

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Matthew Collins, prosecuting, said the large amount of material would take many months to review before it could be disclosed.

Judge Peter Armstrong said there was ‘no earthly prospect’ of the case being ready to go ahead on September 30.

The judge set a new trial date of Monday, June 1, next year.

Whitfield, who was not required to attend the hearing, is on bail.