A man has been found dead as he awaited trial on child sex abuse charges dating back 13 years.
During a seven-minute hearing on Wednesday, a judge was handed the death certificate of Colin Stephen Slack, 47, of Springfield Avenue, Chesterfield.
Derby Crown Court heard that police had been able to identify him by checking fingerprints after his body was discovered on November 14.
Slack had denied indecent assault of a girl between 2002 and 2006, two charges of gross indecency and one of sexual activity in the presence of a child.
He had appeared in court in August and his trial had been due to begin on January 8.
Andrew Vout, prosecuting, told the judge: “This defendant was due to appear at this court in relation to serious matters.
“On November 14, it seems he took his own life.
“These proceedings must therefore stop.”
Barrister David Webster, who represented Slack, asked the judge: “So the defence file can be closed? Can you direct the notice of the statement and death certificate?”
The judge agreed.
Derbyshire police said they were alerted by firefighters who found a body when called to check a smoke alarm at a flat just after 10pm on November 14.
“There are no suspicious circumstances. It is believed that he had been dead for some time and we are preparing a report for the coroner,” a police spokesman said.