Published: 17:52, 20 November 2019
| Updated: 17:52, 20 November 2019
A convicted paedophile who lived as a recluse was found heavily decomposed after a community warden raised the alarm.
An inquest at Canterbury Magistrates Court today heard how Edwin Griggs, 87, had not been seen for three weeks when police forced entry to his home in Strand Street in Sandwich.
He was discovered on the floor of his living room with his television still on. There was also thousands of pounds in £5, £10 and £20 notes on a table.
A post-mortem carried out by Dr Nipin Bagla was unable to establish a medical cause of death with the coroner delivering an open conclusion.
The former sweet shop owner had been jailed for 15 months in 2014 after he sexually abused two children.
He lived life as a hermit following the death of his wife in 2012, according to Lucy Luttman who defended him during trial.
It appeared he returned to that way of life upon his release.
Investigating officer sergeant Alex Walker who attended Griggs' home on Tuesday, July 30 2019, was satisfied there were no signs of forced entry but described the house as "messy" and garden as "overgrown".
He said: "There was no way to identify him visually."
He was identified via DNA profiling of his femur.
Police had previously forced entry into Grigg's house on June 1, 2019 following concerns that he had not been seen. He was normally seen once a week by a shop keeper.
But the widower was found to be okay and told officers he was "unhappy" with their actions.
Repeated concerns from Kent County Council community warden Lee Kidd prompted police to force entry, with help from Kent Fire and Rescue Service, again, on Tuesday, July 30, when he was discovered deceased.
His last contact with his GP was on May 21, 2018. He had then attended an appointment at Guys Hospital in London on July 13, 2018 for treatment for an abdominal aortic aneurysm.
He was last seen by a neighbour Dr Chris Day on July 6 or 7.
Dr Day described his condition to officers as deteriorating. He also told them he appeared bearded and breathless.
At his trial, Canterbury Crown Court was told that Griggs owned and ran The Chocolate Box in Sandwich with his wife Alice, who died from cancer in 2012.
One victim revealed how she went into the shop with a friend, who was then accused by Griggs of stealing an egg from a shelf.
She was told to leave, but her friend was kept inside the shop.
Weeks later the victim returned to the shop where Griggs took her into another room and sexually assaulted her.
The second victim went into the shop in the early 1970s with a friend and the two were deliberately left alone.
Griggs then ordered the friend to leave and accused the girl of stealing, which she denied, and then ordered her to remove her clothes.
The jury was told that Griggs took advantage of young girls visiting his sweet shop by giving them the opportunity to shoplift and then threatening them with exposure to their parents or the police.
When Griggs appeared for sentencing in August 2014, Lucy Luttman, defending, said he had no access to young children now.
He had no previous convictions and the offences were made up of a maximum of four occasions for a period of five months in 1974.