AN alleged fraudster extradited from Alicante to the UK in October claims through a lawyer that he is too mentally unstable to stand trial.
Norman Fowler, a 38-year-old who is accused of defrauding a number of people out of thousands of pounds via false adverts through the Gumtree website left Colchester and moved to Spain once it was clear that he was likely to be charged with the offences.
He was eventually arrested by Spanish police in Alicante and in October of this year he was returned to England under an international extradition warrant where he was immediately placed in custody.
After three years of freedom following the alleged fraud, he finally appeared at Chelmsford Crown Court on December 14 via video link from prison but surprised the prosecution when his lawyer claimed that he could not enter a plea as he was too mentally ill to do so.
The court had no option other than to postpone the hearing until March 9 so that medical tests can be undertaken to decide whether he is fit to enter a plea and to stand trial but in the meantime he remains incarcerated.