A court made legal history after convicting a man on historic sex offences – despite him being dead.
In a UK-first, Darren Turk was found guilty of sex offences involving young boys which occurred more than 15 years ago, despite being found dead on the eve of the jury’s verdict.
The court heard during a five-week trial that Turk, 54, had molested boys aged between 11 and 15 while working as ”head of care’ at Frewen College in East Sussex between 1996 and 2002.
Judge Jeremy Gold QC at Lewes Crown Court only told jurors why Turk was no longer in the dock on the day after they gave his verdict.
He was found guilty of ten charges and acquitted of six.
Turk’s defence team are now considering referring the case to the Court of Appeal.
They argued that there “could be no indictment” against a dead man and no verdict but Judge Gold overruled by saying that his victims had a right to know the jury’s verdict.
Turk, of Etchingham, East Sussex, was charged by Sussex Police in June last year.
A spokesman for the judiciary said: “The judge took the view that the complainants were entitled to know the jury’s verdicts despite the defendant’s death, in the knowledge that the jury had reached some verdicts, whatever they might be.”
A Sussex Police spokesman said: “Mr Turk was found dead at his home.
“There are no suspicious circumstances and the coroner’s officer has been informed.”
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