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Care home stabbing trial delayed

1 September 08 17:42 GMT

The trial of a man accused of stabbing a woman to death in a care home will take place next year, a judge has said.

Grandmother and care worker Kathleen Bainbridge, 58, of Luton, died on 24 August last year, after being stabbed in Dunstable.

Judge John Bevan QC said a charge is to be put to Stephen Flatt, 55, who is at Rampton secure hospital, on 20 October.

Judge Bevan, sitting at Luton Crown Court, said the trial will be after 20 April next year.

"I regret deeply the delay but these cases are very difficult and have to be got right," he told the court.

Mental condition assessed

Natalie Carter, for the prosecution, said the delays were of concern to the victim's family.

They were also having an impact on an inquiry into why Mr Flatt was placed in the care home, at Abacus House in Princes Street, Dunstable, in the first place.

Defence barrister Kevin Barry said: "There has been no lack of urgency in taking this matter forward. It is not a quick process assessing a man like Mr Flatt."

His doctor at Rampton had asked for six months to assess his mental condition, but that was taking longer than expected because his condition had got worse for a period.

Mrs Bainbridge was married with two children and four grandchildren and lived in North Drift Way, Luton.

Flatt also faces a charge of attempting to murder her work colleague, Barbara Hill, who came to her aid.

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