A NEWPORT man accused of fraud and health and safety offences relating to the running of a care home may never stand trial because he is seriously ill in hospital.

Newport Crown Court heard that Dr Prana Das, 66, suffered “very serious injuries” during an alleged burglary at his home last month and would not be fit to stand trial in January.

He remains in intensive care, where it is understood he is in a coma, and could eventually be transferred to Cardiff’s Rookwood Rehabilitation Hospital.

Judge Neil Bidder said it was “too premature”

to say he would never stand trial but said, “the signs, if I may say so, are not good.”

His case, which included four charges of false accounting and one theft charge, was adjourned until further notice.

Checks will be made on his health and fitness to stand trial again in January.

Das was the director of Puretruce Health Care Ltd, which owned Brithdir Care Home in New Tredegar, Joint charges he faced with co-accused Paul Black, of Ash Grove, Gloucester, for two alleged offences under the Health and Safety at Work Act, were removed from the indictment, so that Black’s trial could continue in Das’ absence.

Puretruce Health Care is also charged with two counts of failing to discharge a duty under section three of the Health and Safety at Work Act, relating to the treatment of residents.

The matter was adjourned until November 19.

● Edward John Donovan, 50, of Windmill Square, Commercial Road, Newport, and Rhiannon Gibbons, 27, of Newport Hotel, Chepstow Road, Newport, are both charged with robbery, causing grievous bodily harm with intent to Das, and the assault of Dr Nishebita Das occasioning actual bodily harm, at their home in Catsash on September 9.

It is alleged they stole cash, a BMW, a Nokia mobile phone, cash in rupees and an ornamental eagle.

They will appear in court for a plea hearing on November 23.