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Convicted paedophile Edwin Griggs found dead at his Sandwich home

ByEleanor Perkins

A convicted paedophile who was described by his own defence lawyer as a "hermit" has been found dead at his home.

Officers were called to a property in Strand Street, Sandwich, on Tuesday where they found the body Edwin Griggs, who was in his late 80s.

The former sweet shop owner was 82 when he was jailed for 15 months in 2014 after he sexually abused two children.

Edwin Griggs was prosecuted in 2014 Picture: Kent Police
Edwin Griggs was prosecuted in 2014 Picture: Kent Police

He lived life as a hermit following the death of his wife in 2012, according to Lucy Luttman who defended him.

In recent years, his historic home had been subject to complaints due its state of disrepair.

A spokesman said: "Kent Police was called at 12.45pm on Tuesday, July 30 2019 to a property in Strand Street, Sandwich, where it was confirmed a man in his 80s had died.

"The death is not being treated as suspicious and a report is being prepared for the coroner."

The Coroner's Office confirmed a date for the opening of his inquest is yet to be set.

Griggs lived in Strand Street in Sandwich
Griggs lived in Strand Street in Sandwich

Griggs denied three historic indecent assaults but was convicted by a jury in June 2014 of all charges.

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.

Griggs' trial in 2014 was held at Canterbury Crown Court
Griggs' trial in 2014 was held at Canterbury Crown Court

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.

“His loss of good character has been a very real punishment for him,” Miss Luttman said.

“He has no family and friends and lives the life of a hermit since his wife died.”

Judge James O’Mahony said: “These children were like moths to a flame to your sweet shop. You planned what you did over a period of time and tricked and deceived them.

"You set out a trap for them and using your age and authority got them in another room in the shop and under the guise of physical chastisement you fondled their bottoms for your sexual gratification.

“The last thing they could do is tell their parents about it because under deliberate temptation from you they may have stolen a sweet from the counter.

"The seriousness of this matter is the way you tricked and deceived them.

“You said it was just chastisement but it wasn’t. It was sexual gratification.

"You still deny your sexual motivation and said the girls did this out of spite. You still speak of these victims in derogatory terms.”

In addition to the jail term Griggs was made to pay £2,200 costs of the trial.

Read more: All the latest news from Sandwich

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