A PAEDOPHILE died at Southampton Crown Court while he was waiting to be released, an inquest heard.
John Jones died from a heart attack after he was given a one-year jail term for a series of vile acts on a 13-year-old boy, Southampton’s coroner was told.
Because the 76-year-old from Southampton had already spent a year in jail he was to be released on licence on July 8 last year.
But he was found dead in the cells at the London Road court complex while waiting to be sent to a rehabilitation home. He died only hours after he was sentenced.
Speaking at Southampton Coroner’s Court, coroner Keith Wiseman said he “was not a well man”.
Pathologist Dr Adnan al-Badri agreed with Mr Wiseman that his death “could have happened at any time, the day before or the day after”.
On the day of his trial, Jones, of no fixed address, admitted to asking a 13-year-old victim to carry out a succession of indecent acts during December 2012 after luring him with cigarettes and alcohol.
In addition to the one-year jail term, Jones was also put on licence for the next six months and placed on the sex offenders’ register.
Due to Jones’s poor health the security staff took him back down to the cells in order to decide whether he should be released directly from court or from prison because he was still a security risk.
Despite frequent checks on him by security staff he died while waiting to be released.
His health had been assessed and it was considered that he was fit for his hearing, although Rob Del-Greco of the prison probation ombudsman’s office, who carried out an investigation, said his health was “variable”.
Mr Del-Greco said: “Mr Jones was OK when he was in prison, he was right as rain. When he got to court he didn’t say anything.
“He seemed to be someone who could pick and choose when he spoke. The court staff said it could be difficult to get anything out of him.”
Determining that Jones died of natural causes, Mr Wiseman said Mr Jones was a “man who didn’t help himself”.
He said: “It is a sad case in all sorts of ways but I am satisfied that it has been thoroughly investigated.”