A convicted pedophile has been found dead in his prison cell while awaiting sentencing for raping and torturing children.
39-year-old Andrew Hadwin from Bowburn in County Durham, UK, died on Thursday, according to the British Ministry of Justice.
The two child abusers were scheduled to be sentenced on April 28.
However, sentencing came early for Hadwin who was found dead inside his cell at the HM Prison Durham late last week.
The cause of Hadwin’s death was not immediately known.
A prison spokesperson said, “As with all deaths in custody, the Prisons and Probation Ombudsman will investigate.”
Authorities were tipped off about alleged child abuse carried out by Hadwin and Pickles in 2018 after one of the children told another adult about the disturbing torture.
Detectives found in the inquiry panning four years and involving over 150 witnesses – that the couple repeatedly abused their children by forcing them to eat soap, locking them in cupboards, making them take boiling hot showers and baths, and not giving them access to food.
The children, who were sometimes submerged under water as punishment, often scavenged for scraps and were found on one occasion walking alone to a supermarket at 4 a.m. hoping to find some food.
According to The Daily Mail:
The couple malnourished the children until they were so hungry that they walked for miles to scavenge through supermarket bins for food.
Meanwhile the pair would order takeaways and make the children watch them eat while forced to stand in stress positions for long periods of time.
Other abuse included locking the youngsters in a cupboard and dangling one terrified child over a motorway bridge.
According to the LBC, “One child was left with life-limiting injuries and others were regularly hurt, Teesside Crown Court heard during their trial.”
When Hadwin and Pickles were questioned about the accusations of child abuse, the couple allegedly forged letters by the children apologizing for making false allegations.
However, a handwriting expert debunked the letters.
It was determined that the adults had actually written the letters they claimed were from the children.
Detective Constable Kat Pudney, of Durham Constabulary’s Safeguarding Unit, said of the alleged child abuse:
“This was an extremely complex and distressing investigation for all involved, the likes of which I have never encountered during my time as a police officer.
“Hadwin and Pickles subjected several vulnerable children to multiple forms of abuse, robbing them of their childhood, and undoubtedly leaving them with psychological wounds which they may never truly recover from.”
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