Liverpool

Murderer John Hodson found dead at Frankland prison

John Hodson
Image caption Hodson was ordered to serve a minimum of 32 years for the murder of David Gard

A prisoner serving life for murder has been found hanging in his cell.

John Hodson, 29, who killed 64-year-old David Gard in 2008, was pronounced dead at 05:55 GMT on Thursday at category A Frankland prison in County Durham.

Hodson battered Mr Gard, who was deaf and had learning difficulties, in his home in Adelaide Road in Liverpool before setting fire to his house.

He was ordered to serve a minimum of 32 years when he was sentenced at Liverpool Crown Court in January 2009.

Mr Gard was pulled from his home in Adelaide Road, Liverpool, on 13 March 2008 by firefighters after neighbours saw smoke billowing from a broken kitchen window. They were unable to resuscitate him.

At the trial the jury heard he had suffered at least 49 external injuries, but was so badly beaten it was impossible to say how many bones in his face had been broken.

A Prison Service spokesman confirmed staff found Hodson.

The spokesman said: "As with all deaths in custody, the independent Prisons and Probation Ombudsman will undertake an investigation."

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