A man convicted of horrific crimes against his own children and found guilty of raping another child was discovered dead in his cell in the United Kingdom on Thursday while awaiting sentencing.
Andrew Hadwin, 39, died two weeks after he was convicted of “three counts of rape, seven counts of neglect, and one count of perverting the course of justice,” Chronicle Live reported. He was being held in HM Prison Durham, which is located near the east coast of England, ahead of his sentencing on April 28.
The counts of rape stemmed from Hadwin’s past crimes against a different girl, who Detective Constable Kat Pudney said was “now a young woman,” as Leading Britain’s Conversation (LBC) reported.
Couple forced children to eat soap, take boiling showers and withheld food https://t.co/FqEkMj6hh8
— News on Teesside (@NewsonTeesside) January 19, 2023
Hadwin and his wife, Cheryl Pickles, 35, were convicted in January. “Pickles was found guilty on five counts of child cruelty and one count of perverting the course of justice,” the outlet noted. Both were charged but ultimately found not guilty of sexual activity with a child.
The Durham Constabulary began investigating the couple when “when one of the children confided in a trusted adult” in 2018, MEAWW noted.
Gazette Live described the myriad of ways in which the couple was accused of abusing their children:
During the inquiry, which spanned four years and involved more than 150 witnesses, detectives found that Hadwin and Pickles repeatedly abused the children by making them eat soap, locking them in cupboards, forcing them into boiling hot showers and baths – sometimes submerging their heads under the water – and withdrawing their access to food. The children would often have to scavenge for scraps to eat, and on one occasion were found at 4am walking alone to a supermarket four miles away to try to find food.
During the trial, the court heard from medical experts who described how the children regularly suffered painful injuries, with one child left with life-limiting injuries as a result of the abuse.
They also heard how the pair wrote letters, which were given to police, claiming to be from the children in which they apologised for lying and were sorry, and made false allegations of sexual assault by professionals working to support them. However, a handwriting expert confirmed the writing was not that of a child, and that the letters had actually been written in a notebook found at the couple’s Bowburn home.
Pudney described the case as “complex and distressing” like none she had ever “encountered during [her] time as a police officer,” LBC noted.
She added that the children had sustained “psychological wounds which they may never truly recover from.” While authorities haven’t released details regarding the cause of Hadwin’s death, the outlet quotes a prison spokesman as promising that the Prisons and Probation Ombudsman would conduct an investigation.
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