A JUDGE has formally closed the case against a Cirencester man found dead in prison while awaiting trial for the attempted murder of his partner.

Lee Farrell, 29, of Apsley Road, had initially been charged with inflicting grievous bodily harm on Stacey White with intent.

But the charge was to be changed to attempted murder after it was discovered that Farrell had updated his Facebook account to describe himself as a 'widower' before the knife attack on Ms White on Christmas Eve.

His body was found in his cell at Bristol Jail on February 4.

Farrell had last appeared at Gloucester crown court via video link from prison on January 18th.

It was at that hearing that senior prosecutor Rachael Scott said she would be bringing a charge of attempted murder.

The next hearing of the case was due to take place on April 12th.

But on Friday prosecutor Julian Kesner told the court the case could not proceed because of Mr Farrell's death.

He said there was no death certificate available yet but the police were satisfied Mr Farrell was dead.

Judge William Hart said "Based on this information which is accepted by the defence I am satisfied about the fact of death and I shall endorse the indictment accordingly."

Stacey White, who is in her 20s, stabbed in the abdomen, thigh and arm at Farrell's home just before 11pm on Christmas Eve.

She was taken to hospital by ambulance to Swindon's Great Western Hospital with multiple injuries, although they were not life threatening.

Stacey, 25, had previously told the Standard that despite his actions she was "absolutely devastated" by Lee's death and was struggling to deal with the loss.

"He was a good dad and he loved his kids," she said. "They’re going to miss him a lot."

Mr Farrel was the father of Stacey’s 11-week-old daughter and 14-month-old son. She also has a nine-year-old son.