The UK's fastest-growing regional news network
°C | 8°C
15°C | 7°C
16°C | 5°C
See the full forecast for your area.
Sponsored by Britelite.
Home Thanet News Article
A vile elderly sex pervert jailed for 14 years after attacking two children has died while serving his sentence.
Doctors earlier said 88-year-old Alfred Hynds, from Margate, had only months to live because of lung cancer.
A judge said in April the Second World War veteran's rapes and indecent assaults on the girls merited 18 years behind bars.
But because of his age and medical problems, she told Hynds - who walks with a frame - she would cut that sentence to 14 years.
Police have today confirmed Hynds died at Medway Maritime Hospital on Friday, June 27.
He had been transferred to the Gillingham hospital from a bail hostel in Church Road, Sheerness, where he had been taken from prison after falling ill.
An inquest was expected to be opened and adjourned in Maidstone today. The cause of death was given as pneumonia and lung cancer.
Judge Heather Norton earlier said Hynds had tried to claim he had been the victim, accusing one of the schoolgirls as being "provocative and suggestive" and claiming the second had lied.
But a jury at Canterbury Crown Court rejected his claims and convicted him on all 14 charges of rape and indecent assault.
The judge then ordered the courtroom to be cleared "so he could be taken away by prison staff with dignity".
"He will spend the rest of his life in prison and will die in prison. It is the equivalent to a whole life sentence..." - Paul Hogben, defending, during the trial
Hynds, of Cobbs Place, was found guilty after a prolonged trial that began on March 10 and in which the jury had to hear evidence for just two hours a day.
He should have gone on trial in August and then again in January, but on each occasion he claimed he could not face trial because of his medical condition.
His lawyers then appealed to the Attorney General to issue a nolle prosequi, which would have ended the prosecution. It was rejected.
And after studying his medical records and hearing evidence from a hospital consultant via a TV link, the judge ruled that despite his claims, Hynds was fit to stand trial.
The jury then heard of his sex attacks on the girls going back more than 10 years - which included the twisted pervert making and using a model penis.
But prosecutor Janine Sheff told how one of his victims was so traumatised by the paedophile attacks she became an alcoholic and could only have sex with men now when she was drunk.
In a victim impact statement read to the judge, the woman - who is now in her 20s -described the attacks as "emotional torture", adding the "worst aspect was not (initially) being believed".
She said: "I now feel ecstatic that I have been believed."
A second victim thanked the jury "for believing me and for changing my life".
Hynds' barrister Paul Hogben turned to Shakespeare's Merchant of Venice to plea for a sentence that would mean he would not have to die in custody.
Quoting from the character Portia's "quality of mercy" speech, Mr Hogben said justice should be seasoned with mercy, adding: "Without mercy, there is no justice."
The barrister said: "I could see at an early stage that there was a compelling and overwhelming case again Mr Hynds.
"And I could see that at the end of the trial process would result in the court deciding whether to imprison a man for the remainder of his life."
Mr Hogben said Hynds had been told in January he had less than a year to live, he has a pacemaker, his heart is working at 35% and his breathing at 65%.
He had been sent home to die, he said. "He will spend the rest of his life in prison and will die in prison. It is the equivalent to a whole life sentence."
But the judge told Hynds she could not take "a wholly exceptional" course after hearing that the prison authorities said his medical condition could be managed inside jail.
She added: "There is no authority of which I am aware which states that it is be wrong in principle to pass such a sentence and it is not for me to try to predict when the end of your life will be."
Click here for more news from Thanet.
Click here for more news from around the county.