POLICE are satisfied that Chepstow man Rikki Baldwin, 24, killed himself by jumping into the River Wye - even though his body has not yet been found, a judge was told yesterday.
Baldwin, of Beachley Road, Sedbury, was to have stood trial with three other men at Gloucester crown court.
Yesterday, after being told that police are satisfied it was Baldwin who jumped into the river on Easter Monday, Judge Jamie Tabor QC gave the go ahead for the trial of the other three defendants to continue.
"We will list the trial and pray for a miracle," he said. "If it doesn't happen then we shall continue with the trial."
He listed the trial to commence on August 20. The other three defendants are Jordan Thorne-Peters, 18, also of Beachley Road, Duncan Peters, 37, also of Beachley Road and Ben Thorne, 18, of The Threeway, Littledean.
They have pleaded not guilty to affray on April 1 last year.
Thorne-Peters and Peters have also denied wounding Edward Patrick with intent to cause him grievous bodily harm on the same date and charges of having offensive weapons in Buttington Road, Sedbury - a metal bar, bottle, and hammers.
A man matching Baldwin's description was seen falling from the A48 road bridge between Sedbury and Chepstow into the river on Easter Monday.
Gloucestershire and Gwent Police, the fire service, the Severn Area Rescue Association, the ambulance service and the Coastguard all took part in a search for him, but in vain.
Prosecutor Christopher Smythe told the court that there had been concerns about whether Baldwin's apparent suicide was genuine.
But he added "The officer dealing with the enquiry has now come to the conclusion that, yes, it is genuine."