Ogden case brought forward

The case of solicitor Howard Ogden, who is facing disciplinary proceedings, will be heard sooner than expected following the suicide of former client and alleged mass murderer Frederick West.

The Solicitors Complaints Bureau confirms that the date for Ogden's hearing is likely to be brought forward from November.

The Gloucester solicitor is accused of attempting to use confidential information for publication. Ogden denies the allegations. A hearing had been fixed for the autumn in order to avoid prejudicing West's trial.

Meanwhile, lawyers including Leo Goatley, who is acting for West's wife Rosemary, have raised concerns about possible prejudicial media reporting.

Goatley confirms that if his client is committed for trial to the Crown Court he will call for charges to be dropped on the basis of press coverage of the case.

But some Fleet Street lawyers point out that Goatley has himself been using the media to protest his client's innocence and to stress the “flimsiness” of the case against her.

“He's trying to have it both ways. I don't blame him for that because he's acting in the best interest of his client,” one commented.

The CPS is currently reviewing the case against Rosemary West following her husband's suicide. But an old-style committal hearing is expected to go ahead in February.