New trial ordered after magistrate fell asleep

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A MAN'S conviction in an alleged road rage case has been quashed after a magistrate fell asleep during his trial.

Timothy Price, 26, must face a retrial next month after his solicitor reported the incident during the hearing at Witney magistrates' court in Oxfordshire.

The Crown Prosecution Service confirmed yesterday that a new trial would take place after an internal investigation at the court found the claim to be true. The sleeping magistrate has not been identified.

Price, of North Leigh, Oxfordshire, was convicted of causing fear and provocation of violence in July after an alleged road rage incident in the Woolgate Centre car park in Witney. He was fined pounds 500 and ordered to pay pounds 300 in compensation.

His solicitor, Tim Brown, said yesterday: "A magistrate fell asleep and had to be woken up. I noticed it and we pointed it out to the court clerk later. They held their own investigation and found it was true. It is only fair to have a retrial."