Charges dropped against boyfriend of mother who jumped to her death with son
A 52-year-old man accused of attacking his young lover will not now face trial - after she killed herself and her two young children.
Neil Patterson had denied the assault alleged to have happened at their family home in Paignton, Devon, at the end of April and was due to go on trial at Torbay magistrates court.
But last month 24-year-old Katherine Hooper - known as Kat - took her eldest son Josh, five, to Haytor on Dartmoor.
They were seen to leap off the granite rocks to their deaths.
When police went to her home in the seaside town they discovered the body of two-year-old Sam Patterson dead in his bed.
Mr Patterson's trial was due to be held last week but the case was adjourned while the Crown Prosecution Service decided if it wanted to proceed.
Yesterday it was revealed that the case against Mr Patterson - who had been in a relationship with Kat for seven years before they split in April - had been discontinued. He had been due to appear in court this week.
Michael French, from the CPS in the South West, said:"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 eye witnesses to some of what had been complained about, would be sufficient to provide a realistic prospect of conviction.
"Following that decision, 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.
"The complainant's family have been notified of the decision. I extend my sympathy to them at this difficult time."
Last week the funerals were held of Kat and her sons. Their coffins were placed together at the service in Torquay with both boys in the same white coffin.
Police confirmed that social workers and other agencies were meant to be safeguarding the family.
A Serious Case Review would now examine whether the family had been failed.
Neighbours claimed Kat had 'slipped through the net' and had taken an overdose around the time of her split from Mr Patterson.
Next door neighbour Tracey Cole, 42, said:"The boys were beautiful and well mannered, really lovely little boys."