A CROWN court judge has formally ended the case of a west Cumbrian man accused of murdering his partner following his death.

At Carlisle Crown Court, Judge Nicholas Barker said that he had been told Trevor Green, 44, who was due to stand trial in November charged with murdering Shelly Clark at Cleator Moor, had taken his own life while being held at Frankland Prison in county Durham.

Prosecutors were preparing a case to prove that Green, from Mill Hill, Cleator Moor, murdered 43-year-old Miss Clark on Thursday, July 16.

But in a brief hearing today, Judge Barker said: "It's an unhappy ending in this case of Mr Green.

"My understanding is that he's taken his own life at HMP Frankland.

"I have seen the coroner's certificate uploaded to the [courts digital] system."

The date of Green's death was confirmed as being July 21, though no details of how he died were outlined in court.

Judge Barker said that in view of the defendant's death, the case against him was now formally of no legal effect and the case was over.

An inquest will be held at a later date to determine the facts around both his death and that of Miss Clark.

The tragedy was uncovered after the North West Ambulance Service service was called to a property in Clayton Avenue, Cleator Moor, on the evening of July 15 following a report raising concern for the welfare of a woman. Shelly Clark died in hospital the following day.

Relatives paid tribute, describing her as loving mother, daughter, sister, aunty, niece, cousin – and friend to many."