South East Wales

Paedophile Paul Smithers dies in Parc Prison before facing more charges

Parc Prison
Image caption Smithers died in the prison's hospital wing

A paedophile sex offender who was extradited from Thailand to south Wales has died of cancer in prison before he could face further charges.

Paul Martin Smithers, 59, skipped bail in 2000 and it took almost a decade to track him down to south east Asia.

He was flown to the UK last year, and was jailed for 12 years for rape and indecent assault.

He was due to appear before Cardiff Crown Court on Wednesday to enter pleas on more than 50 further charges.

Smithers had been held in a Thai prison for three years before he was flown back to the UK in April 2012, accompanied by detectives from South Wales Police.

He had skipped bail from Cardiff Crown Court in 2000 before he could be sentenced for child sex offences.

Last year, he was finally jailed for 12 years for rape and indecent assault.

He was due to appear before Cardiff Crown Court this week to enter a plea on more than 50 further charges.

However, Smithers died of cancer on 20 February in the hospital wing at Parc Prison in Bridgend.

Last year the Crown Prosecution Service said bringing Smithers back to the UK had been "a long and complex process".

Suzanne Thomas, a senior crown prosecutor, said at the time: "Smithers thought he could evade justice by going on the run but we will use all powers at our disposal to pursue serious offenders and bring them before the courts."