A GRIEVING son from Garstang has been charged with harassing two coroners following the death of his father.
Paul Highton, 45, was arrested by police on Thursday at his home in Heald Croft, Garstang, over allegations that, for more than three years, he has harassed Preston coroner Dr James Adeley and former city coroner Dr Nicola Mundy following the death of his father, Russell, in 2008.
Russell Highton went in for knee joint replacement surgery at Wrightington Hospital, Wigan, in 2008, but died four days later from deep vein thrombosis.
In June 2009 an inquest into Russell Highton’s death recorded a narrative verdict and said there was no way of knowing if using compression stockings or pads on his legs would have made any difference.
The prosecution at Preston Magistrates’ Court alleged that between June 27, 2008 and October 2, 2011 Highton “pursued a course of harassment” against Drs Mundy and Adeley.
The charges allege that at Preston and Doncaster, South Yorkshire, where Dr Mundy is now a coroner, Highton “continually made contact with them various mediums” including phone calls, letters, web site message and emails “which were abusive”.
In addition, it is alleged that on October 18 this year, Highton went to the Lancashire County Council register office in Chain Caul Way, Ashton, and used threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour, or disorderly behaviour, in sight of someone likely to suffer alarm, harassment or distress.
Highton, who appeared in court on Friday, pleaded not guilty to both charges.
District Judge Peter Ward granted him conditional bail and he is due to re-appear before magistrates in Preston on Thursday.
Under the terms of his bail he is banned from going within 500 metres of Faraday Drive, Fulwood, where Preston Coroners’ Court is based. He is also banned from going within 500 metres of Union Street, Doncaster.
Judge Ward also told him he could not “post anything on the internet, whether on a website, social networking site or otherwise, relating to James Adeley or Nicola Mundy.”
The inquest into Russell Highton’s death said he had developed a blood clot in 1990 when he had an appendix removed.