A pensioner accused of trying to murder a woman by crashing his Jaguar into another car has died just days before his trial was due to begin, it emerged today.

Peter Tillman, 71, was due to stand trial today accused of attempted murder and dangerous driving, after he drove his Jaguar into a Mini Cooper in Hampshire's New Forest.

The driver of the Mini, a 33-year-old woman, from Dorset, and Tillman's passenger, a 59-year-old woman from Sway, Hants, suffered minor injuries in the crash.

The collision occurred in a 30mph zone on the A337 near Brockenhurst, Hants, in August 2019.

Tillman, from Sway in the New Forest, was uninjured in the crash.

He had denied the charges and his trial was due to open at Salisbury Crown Court but DS Steven Norridge, who was involved in the case, today told the hearing Tillman had been found dead over the Bank Holiday weekend.

The court heard Tillman had written his barrister a letter shortly before his death. It is understood he may have been suffering from mental health issues.

DS Norridge, of Hampshire police, said: “I was called by a colleague who knew of my involvement in the case and they informed me that they were about to attend the sudden death of Peter Tillman [on Saturday].

“I then attended the address and confirmed Tillman’s death.”

Sarah Forshaw QC, for the defence, told the court her client wrote a letter for her before his death.

Judge Susan Evans QC said: "It has satisfied me that Mr Tillman is indeed deceased and he is indeed the individual who is identified on this indictment.”