A man accused of murdering a 97-year-old Fife woman has had his trial halted while he awaits the results of a coronavirus test.
Sandeep Patel appeared at Glasgow High Court last week and denied allegations he attacked and killed pensioner Annie Temple at her Kinglassie home in October 2019.
The trial was due to resume on Monday morning but was instead adjourned for “at least” 24 hours.
Judge Michael O’Grady QC told jurors: “Good morning on a bright, sunny but not very satisfactory morning.
“Some of you may be old enough to know the footballer and philosopher Tommy Docherty, who used to say that when one door closes, another door will slam in your face.”
He said to the remote jury Patel, 38, was not in the court because he was being tested for Covid-19.
“We naturally hope that the tests come back negative,” he said.
“But it will be sometime between eight and 12 hours before we get the results, so he will not be here until at least tomorrow morning.”
The judge also said one of the jury had fallen ill.
“The result of these combined misfortunes is that we cannot sit today,” he said.
Patel is accused of murdering Ms Temple on October 25, 2019, at 38 West End, Kinglassie, by repeatedly inflicting blunt force trauma to her head and body, obstructing and constricting her airways and asphyxiate her.
It is further alleged that between April 1 and April 30, 2019, at 38 West End, he stole a sum of money totalling around £1,000 from Ms Temple.
Patel is also accused of, between October 3 and October 23, 2019, at the Royal Bank of Scotland, East Port, Dunfermline; the Nationwide Building Society, High Street, Kirkcaldy and elsewhere, he completed and signed cheques in the name of Annie Temple, with himself as the beneficiary without her knowledge or consent, to the total value of £2,750.
It is also alleged that on July 19, 2019, at the Royal Bank of Scotland, Main Street, Cardenden, Patel presented as genuine a cheque on behalf of Western Toyota for £5, which he altered by adding the word ‘hundred’ and two zeroes, so that it appeared the cheque was for £500.
He denies all charges.