A MAN accused of rape was found dead on the day of his trial.

Paul Silvester had been on bail to appear before a Liverpool Crown Court judge and jury on Monday, but failed to turn up.

It was said at the hearing that he had gone missing at the weekend.

Police had been called to an abandoned car on the Blackrod bypass at 2.15pm on Monday.

Inside they found a man’s body — later to be confirmed as that of 39-year-old Silvester, of Leaholme Avenue, Aspull.

Paramedics were called, but he was pronounced dead at the scene.

A police spokesman said: “There are not believed to be any suspicious circumstances and the matter has been referred to the coroner. Police are not looking for anyone else in relation to this incident.”

Silvester was arrested 10 months ago and accused of raping a 37-year-old woman at an address in Ashton-in-Makerfield on March 12.

He was charged with the attack and was also accused of causing actual bodily harm on the same occasion.

He had been released on conditional court bail pending this week’s trial.

It is understood the inquiry against Silvester will be formally dropped later this month.