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Ashley Francis, who is charged with murdering pensioner in Hockwold, undergoing psychiatric evaluation





A man charged with murder is currently undergoing a psychiatric evaluation to determine if he is fit to enter a plea.

Ashley Francis, 26, of Whittington Hill, was charged following a stabbing in Hockwold on February 29 which resulted in a man’s death.

Emergency services were called to Main Street to reports that a man had been stabbed in the neck.

Norwich Crown Court, where Ashley Francis’ case is being heard
Norwich Crown Court, where Ashley Francis’ case is being heard

The victim – a man in his 80s – was taken to Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge and later transferred to West Suffolk Hospital in Bury St Edmunds, where he died on March 7.

Francis is currently undergoing a psychiatric evaluation to determine if he is fit to enter a plea. If he is deemed able, he will make any plea at a hearing on May 17.

A date for a trial of issue (Newton hearing) has also been planned for August 5 and will last for between five and seven days.

This takes place when a defendant has pleaded guilty to an offence, but on the basis of a different version of facts from that of the prosecution, and the court has concluded that the factual differences would make a material difference to any sentence imposed.



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