Charges dropped against ex-partner of Kat HooperEx-partner conviction 'no longer realistic'
By Herald Express | Thursday, August 22, 2013, 07:00
AN ASSAULT charge against the former partner of tragic mum Kat Hooper, who is believed to have killed herself and her two children, has been dropped.
Kat and her son Joshua, five, fell to their deaths from Haytor on Dartmoor in July.
The body of two-year-old Samuel was later found at her home in Dukes Close, Paignton.
Her former partner Neil Patterson, 52, had denied assaulting Ms Hooper in April.
Now, prosecutors say there is no longer a realistic prospect of conviction.
The decision is not thought to affect the serious case review by the Torbay Safeguarding Board to look into the care that Kat received leading up to the deaths.
Kat's family have been told of the decision and the CPS will be offering to meet with them to discuss the matter further.
Michael French, District Crown Prosecutor for CPS South West, said: "I extend my sympathy to them at this difficult time."
Mr French said that when the original decision was made to prosecute Mr Patterson, it was determined that the complainant's evidence, along with that of other individuals who were alleged eye-witnesses to some of what had been complained about, would be sufficient to provide a realistic prospect of conviction.
But the position changed after the death of Kat and Joshua, who was also a witness in the case.
Mr French said: "We had to carefully consider our evidential position in light of the complainant's tragic death. "Although the courts can choose to admit the evidence of deceased witnesses under certain criteria, and that possibility was considered, the police provided us with new material that we felt meant that there would no longer be a realistic prospect of conviction.
"The case therefore had to be discontinued."
Mr Patterson has always denied the assault charge.