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Alleged rapists bailed as coronavirus lockdown restrictions delay court cases

TRIALS concerning serious alleged crimes including rape are being postponed with defendants released on bail due to ongoing coronavirus restrictions, Essex News and Investigations can reveal.

Criminal courts are supposed to be dealing with serious and urgent cases throughout the lockdown, but some cases, involving allegations of serious sexual offences, have been delayed due to a growing backlog.

Stafano Idugbor, 23, from Middleton, Rochdale, was due before Greater Manchester Magistrates' Court last Thursday charged with the rape of a woman on August 27 2018.

But the case could not proceed due to the coronavirus backlog and the Italian national was bailed to return in September.

The same day, the case of a 15-year-old boy from Salford, in Greater Manchester, who is facing five charges of rape and serious sexual assault against an eight-year-old boy, was adjourned at the same court.

The alleged offending is said to have taken place in Salford between January and September 2018 when the defendant would have been 13.

In another case, due to be heard the same day, Peter Black, 31, from Newton-le-Willows, is charged with six counts of trying to communicate online with who he believed were underaged girls.

The charges concerned someone he believed to be a girl aged 13, who he allegedly encouraged to look at images of him engaging in sexual activity, and another person he believed was a girl aged under 16, who he allegedly communicated with for his own sexual gratification.

records of the cases at the court said: "Unforeseen circumstances prevented the hearing of this case due to the current coronavirus situation.

"The court is only dealing with urgent court work. "

All three defendants were baled until September 11.

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