A TRIAL into the alleged theft of a Samsung TV and and an assault is the first Oxford case to be postponed due to the outbreak of coronavirus.

Stuart Bell is charged with one count of theft and one count of assault occasioning actual bodily harm.

It is alleged that the 26-year-old of Bartlett Close, Witney, carried out the two offences in the Witney area on March 16 last year.

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Prosecutors say that he stole the television from an address along Corn Bar, Witney.

It is further claimed that he assaulted a man occasioning him actual bodily harm on the same day at the same address.

His trial - expected to last two days - was scheduled to begin at Oxford Crown Court yesterday.(March 23)

The Lord Chief Justice Lord Burnett of Maldon announced the same morning that no jury trials would continue in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.

He said in his announcement: "My unequivocal position is that no jury trials or other physical hearings can take place unless it is safe for them to do so.

"A particular concern is to ensure social distancing in court and in the court building."

Jurors, who normally sit as a collection of 12 randomly selected from the community, were all told not to come to court with jury trials postponed.

It is not yet known when jury trials will resume and the court service said it will now put in place arrangements to use telephone, video and other technology to continue as many hearings as possible remotely.