A JUDGE has rejected an application by Mike Hancock to have a civil court case against him put on hold for ‘mental health’ reasons.
The High Court was reportedly told the Portsmouth South MP ‘lacks the capacity to instruct his legal team’ due to his mental health, and wanted the sexual misconduct case against him stood down until he is ‘better’.
The woman making the claims against him says he formed an inappropriate relationship with her, sexually assaulted her and harassed her. Yesterday she challenged a psychiatric report provided by Mr Hancock’s legal team, saying it failed to address the legal test for mental capacity.
Master Leslie also rejected an application that asked for his medical details and condition not to be disclosed.
The claimant, who cannot be named for legal reasons, said the public had a right to know about the issues.
She raised Mr Hancock standing in the forthcoming local elections, and recently publicity about his work as an MP, as reasons why his application should be refused.
Harriet Wistrich, solicitor for the claimant, said: ‘I have been continually shocked by Hancock’s attempts to avoid being held to account.
‘The latest development is extraordinary.
‘I have represented many clients suffering mental illness, but only one has ever been so ill as to meet the test for lack of capacity. How can a man standing for re-election in under four weeks’ time make such as assertion?’
The case, now fixed for a trial during the last two weeks of June, will proceed unless Mr Hancock renews his application with new evidence.