A DEFENDANT who faced firearms and affray charges over an armed police incident died in hospital after being held on remand in jail.

Frank Hills was accused of possessing an imitation firearm with intent to cause fear of violence in the area of Newport the 66-year-old lived.

The defendant, who identified as a transgender woman, was also alleged to have committed affray on the same date, November 6, 2018, in Lambert Street.

South Wales Argus:

Hills was being held on remand at Cardiff Prison and died on January 25 at the city’s University Hospital of Wales.

The criminal case was officially closed this week after a hearing was held at Newport Crown Court before Judge Daniel Williams.

An inquest into the death will be held by South Wales Central senior coroner Andrew Barkley in Pontypridd on March 6.

Hills, of Lambert Street, had been due to admit responsibility at an early guilty plea hearing on December 7 via video link from Cardiff Prison but the case was adjourned.

South Wales Argus:

During those proceedings at Newport Crown Court, Judge Patrick Curran QC heard how Hills was born male but wished to be referred to as a woman.

The Argus reported on November 6 how armed police were scrambled to the street where the defendant had lived.

Officers had been called to the scene after receiving reports of "concerns for a person’s welfare" at an address on Lambert Street.

Residents reported a "high police presence" in the area, with several police officers spotted wearing body armour and carrying guns.

The fire service and paramedics were also in attendance.

One Twitter user, SouthWalesWazer, sent in pictures of the scene and posted: "Just returned home now. Still a load of police cars there. There's also a fire engine parked up. No lights on now tho [sic]."

The next day, on November 7, Gwent Police released the following statement: "At approximately 5.20pm on Tuesday, November 6, we were received reports of concerns for a person’s welfare at an address in Lambert Street, Newport.

"After assessing the scene, unarmed uniformed officers were supported by firearms officers and negotiators, alongside colleagues from South Wales Fire and Rescue Service and the Welsh Ambulance Service.

"At approximately 4am on Wednesday, 7th November, a 66-year-old local female was arrested on suspicion of making threats to kill, and remains in police custody at this time. Investigations are ongoing."