Paedophile dies before his trial

A paedophile believed to have abused hundreds of children has died after being found unconscious at his Norfolk home.Diabetic John Darby, 73, was found unconscious at his address in Hunstanton on November 4, after a suspected insulin overdose.

A paedophile believed to have abused hundreds of children has died after being found unconscious at his home in Norfolk, police confirmed today.

Diabetic John Darby, 73, was found unconscious at his flat in Hunstanton on November 4, after a suspected insulin overdose.

Police had gone to the address with a warrant to arrest him, for failing to appear in court charged with a string of indecent assaults the previous day. He was taken to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, where he died on Wednesday morning.

Darby admitted 18 charges relating to indecent images of children and indecently assaulting a boy aged under 16 when he appeared before Blackfriars Crown Court on September 21.

On Monday, November 2, he was charged with a number of serious sexual offences involving a further 10 victims. A warrant was issued when he failed to turn up for the start of his trial the following day.

Last night Scotland Yard said: 'A bench warrant was issued and officers from Norfolk Constabulary attended his address at about 08:00hrs on November 4.

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'He was found unconscious and was taken to a local hospital where his condition was described as critical. He died on November 11 at approximately 11:00hrs.

'The death is being treated as non-suspicious. A post mortem will be arranged in due course and inquest will be opened in due course.'

Darby ran a children's home in Catford, South London, between 1971 and 1983. Police believe he abused hundreds of children during that time. He and kept items of their clothing as souvenirs and filmed himself abusing them.

Detectives from the Metropolitan Police's Child Abuse Command launched an inquiry after Darby was attacked in the street by one of his victims.

Several other men came forward to claim they were abused at the local authority home when Darby was in charge. A solicitor who represents one of Darby's victims said police believe he may be responsible for hundreds of crimes.

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