Father allowed to visit grave of son he is accused of murdering
A father who is accused of murdering his five-week-old son has been given permission to visit the child’s grave.
Matthew Wickens’ bail conditions have been varied to allow him to visit the graveside in a cemetery in South Devon after a private family funeral service tomorrow.
Supermarket worker Wickens, 23, of Waltham Road, Newton Abbot, pleaded not guilty to the murder of his son Rylee Gardener in the Winner Street area of Paignton on November 25 last year.
He was charged in July this year after an extensive police investigation into an alleged skull fracture and his trial at Exeter Crown Court is not expected to take place until next spring.
Judge Francis Gilbert adjourned the case and allowed at variation in bail conditions to allow Wickens to visit the graveside a few hours after the funeral service.
The judge set a timetable for the exchange of evidence, including expert reports commissioned by both the prosecution and defence.
Mr Paul Dunkels, QC, defending, said Wickens will not be attending his son’s funeral in Torquay but would visit the grave later in the day.
Judge Francis Gilbert, QC, granted Wickens bail to live at a temporary address at Ashburton, South Devon.
Wickens has worked at the Newton Abbot branch of Asda for five years.