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November 30, 2002

Case halted after defendant taken ill

From: Suffolk Evening Star, UK - 30 Nov 2002

A PENSIONER accused of indecently assaulting two 14-year-old boys is today fighting for his life in Ipswich Hospital following a stroke.

South East Magistrates Court heard how 68-year-old Leslie Keeble, whose previous trial was halted because he claimed he couldn't hear proceedings, may die before he can be tried.

Keeble is currently being treated in the intensive care department of Ipswich Hospital where a spokeswoman, acting on the instructions of his family, was not able to comment on his condition.

She said: "I can confirm Mr Keeble is with us in the intensive care unit but hospital policy prevents me from commenting further."

Keeble, from Rosehill Road, Ipswich, is accused of indecently assaulting two boys after luring a paperboy and his friend to his home by promising him a Christmas tip.

Once in his home, Keeble allegedly showed both boys a pornographic video before assaulting them.

A previous court, at which Keeble was due to enter a plea, was halted when the pensioner claimed an industrial accident had rendered him profoundly deaf.

The court adjourned in order to locate a stenographer when Keeble made it known he didn't wear a hearing aid and could not understand sign language.

Defender Nicky Miller told the court that she had been contacted by Mr Keeble's niece.

She said: "Not long after these allegations were made my client suffered a mild stroke.

"I have been contacted by his niece who tells me Keeble has now suffered a serious stroke and is in the intensive care unit of Ipswich Hospital. When we spoke yesterday there was even a suggestion that Mr Keeble may not make it through the night."

The case was adjourned until December 5.

Mr Keeble's bail conditions, not to contact either complainant, were kept in place.

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