A 97-YEAR-OLD man accused of raping and indecently assaulting a child is not fit to stand trial, a judge has ruled.
Judge Sarah Munro QC has suspended legal proceedings against retired butcher Lionel Veck, from Preston Road, North End, Portsmouth.
He had denied one count of rape and two counts of indecently assaulting a woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, between 1972 and 1977 when she was aged under 16.
Veck, who was thought to be Britain’s oldest competitive cyclist when he took part in a 10-mile time trial between Havant and Chichester in 2011, was initially found fit to stand trial at a court hearing in September.
The decision followed the results of a psychiatric report.
But prosecutor Kerry Maylin applied for the proceedings against Veck to be stayed during a brief hearing at Portsmouth Crown Court.
The Crown Prosecution Service application was made after a further report assessing Veck’s wellbeing revealed a ‘marked deterioration’ in his mental health.
He was charged with raping a girl who was then aged under 16 between August 21 1975 and August 21 1977 in Portsmouth.
Veck was also charged with two counts of indecently assaulting a girl aged under 14 between August 21 1972 and August 21 1977.
Veck started cycling in 1937 after a doctor advised him to take it up to combat rheumatic fever.
The Crown Prosecution Service could apply to resume the prosecution should Veck’s health improve sufficiently.