A judge at Swansea Crown Court heard how it took 32 years to bring a man to court over alleged gross indecency. Roger Gerald Hawkins was initially detained in 1974 and had been expected to appear at Cardiff Crown Court.
He failed to show and an arrest warrant was issued. Mr Hawkins heard nothing and presumed the case had petered out. When arrested 32 years later at his home, he was so shocked that he suffered an angina attack and spent the night in Singleton Hospital.
Mr Hawkins, who lives just 300 yards from the court, appeared before Judge Michael Burr on Monday. He was granted bail and ordered to appear at Cardiff Crown Court on July 7. Judge Michael Burr asked Hawkins, of Brynymor Crescent, Swansea, where he had been "all this time."
Mr Hawkins, who retired recently due to ill health, said as no-one had told him about the warrant, he had simply got on with his life. He said that apart from a stint working as a carer in London, he had always lived in the Swansea area.
"I had no reason to think anyone was looking for me," he told the court. "I have never hidden from them (the police). I never heard anymore, and thought the whole matter had been dropped years ago."
Judge Burr told Mr Hawkins: "Get some legal advice and don't fail to attend, it's been 30 years since we last saw you."
The court heard that the original case was so old the Crown Prosecution Service may not have any papers relating to it. No-one in court was able to say what the case was about. A court official said it was possible the arrest warrant had simply gone missing, only to be found recently.
South Wales Police said they were investigating how the warrant suddenly came to light.