Shrewsbury man to face trial over charges of sexually assaulting, beating and coercing woman

A Shrewsbury man has denied sexually assaulting, beating and coercing a woman.

Philip Mutch, 36, entered not guilty pleas to six charges at Shrewsbury Crown Court this week, including causing actual bodily harm and assault by beating.

A judge admitted to Mutch, of Castle Foregate, that it was "impossible" to tell him exactly when his trial will take place because of the backlog in cases which has been aggravated by the coronavirus crisis.

Mutch is in prison awaiting trial and his custody time limit (CTL) expires on December 4. A hearing will take place in October in an effort to progress the case.

Judge Anthony Lowe said that the chances of Mutch's trial taking place before the time limit expires were "fairly remote". Applications can be made for CTLs to be extended.

Judge Lowe told Mutch: "There is a significant backlog in trials and although we give priority to those like yourself who are in custody, there are many cases where the defendant is in custody, and of course we can only deal with one trial at a time.

"You are not forgotten about."

Mutch faces one charge of sexual assault, one of unlawful wounding, one of assault causing actual bodily harm, one of controlling or coercive behaviour and two of assault by beating.

He denies all the offences and will be tried by a jury.

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