Just before Christmas, following the death of Greville Janner, I wrote:
Trying a dead man is surely an absurdity out of the Middle Ages.Yet things are seldom that clear cut in the law. A trial of facts for an MP who was unfit to plead sounded a fanciful idea, but it turned out that one had taken place as recently as 2012.
Now I have found that in 2002 a dead child abuser from Leicester appealed against his conviction.
The abuser was Father Michael Ingram from Holy Cross Priory, which is shown in the photo above.
Spotlight on Abuse says of him:
For several decades, Ingram had been an open advocate of sex between adults and children, but this had not resulted in his expulsion from the priesthood.
He also claimed to be an expert on child development and child sexuality, and had written a number of essays on the subject for academic journals which cited highly dubious ‘research’ which minimised the effects of child sexual abuse.In 2002 Ingram was tried for sexually assaulting and raping six boys on weekend trips to the Leicestershire countryside and camping holidays to the Isle of Wight.
Shortly before the jury retired, in an apparent suicide attempt, he drove his car into a wall.
What happened next is described at the start of his appeal judgment by Mr Justice Leveson, which is reproduced by Cathy Fox Blog:
On the basis that all remained was the summing-up the trial continued. In the event he was convicted upon each count. Prior to sentence, however, unfortunately Father Ingram died.
Relying on section 44A of the Criminal Appeal Act 1968, by leave of the single judge, his sister now pursues this appeal. For ease of reference, we shall continue to refer to Father Ingram as the appellant.Leveson dismissed the appeal,
If an appeal can be pursued on behalf of a dead man, is quite so absurd to try a dead man? The fact that, like Janner, Ingram came from Leicester adds piquancy to the parallel.