Plymouth man, 80, killed himself after sex charges

An 80-year-old accused of sexually assaulting girls and boys took a fatal drug overdose days after appearing in court, an inquest has heard.

Dennis Pidsley, from Plymouth, was found dead near Dartmoor last October, surrounded by water bottles and pills.

He had been before magistrates over accusations of assaulting boys and was facing charges for attacking girls.

Devon assistant deputy coroner John Tomalin said he was certain it was Mr Pidsley's intention to take his life.

Mr Pidsley was found dead in a field near Yelverton by two men out hunting on 14 October.

He had appeared at Plymouth magistrates' court charged with six counts of sexual assault against boys aged under 16 between 1965 and 1986.

'History of depression'

He was also facing two fresh charges of sexual assault on young girls and was due to appear at Plymouth Crown Court on 2 November last year, the inquest heard.

A post-mortem examination found that Mr Pidsley had taken an overdose.

The inquest at Barnstaple magistrates' court heard that Pidsley, of Hurrell Court, had disappeared from his home several days before his body was found.

He had a history of depression going back decades and had already tried to kill himself with an overdose in March last year, the inquest heard

Mr Tomalin said: "It seems clear that the ingestation of paracetamol was a deliberate act."

He added: "It would also appear that he was being questioned by police in connection with what would be serious offences if proven.

Devon and Cornwall Police said that that the sex assault investigations were had been closed following his death.

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