Rosemary West faces two trials Rosemary West fails to halt trial

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The Independent Online
Rosemary West could face two trials following a decision yesterday to split the 10 murder charges she faces from two of rape and two of indecent assault.

However, an application to have the case halted altogether was refused by Mr Justice Mantell at a pre-trial hearing at Winchester Crown Court yesterday.

Mrs West, 41, the Gloucester widow of the alleged serial killer Frederick West, arrived amid tight security at the court where she will stand trial in October on the murder charges.

The judge told the hearing: "I have decided that the 10 counts of murder be tried first and separately from the remaining four counts, those remaining four comprising two of rape and two of indecent assault."

Reporting restrictions were not lifted at the hearing at which Mrs West, who denies all the charges, was represented by Richard Ferguson QC and the Crown by Brian Leveson QC.

Mrs West is charged with murdering nine girls and young women whose remains were found last year at 25 Cromwell Street, Gloucester, where she lived with her husband who hanged himself in his prison cell on New Year's Day. The skeleton of a tenth victim was found at the Wests' former home. The victims, alleged to have been murdered between 1971 and 1994, were Heather West, the couple's daughter; Charmaine West, the child of Mr West's first wife; Shirley Robinson; Alison Chambers; Lynda Gough; Juanita Mott; Carol Cooper; Shirley Hubbard; Therese Siegenthaler and Lucy Partington. Mrs West's late husband had also been charged with these murders plus two further killings.

She also faces two charges of rape alleged to have been committed jointly with Mr West, one between 1 January, 1976, and 31 December, 1977, and the other between 1 June and 31 December, 1977. She is also charged with two indecent assaults between the same dates.