A convicted child rapist has killed himself on the day he's due to be sentenced to jail.
68-year-old Owen Goff, of Chard, was found guilty of a series of historic sex offences committed during the 1980s whilst acting as a babysitter for a family who lived near Axminster.
He denied but was found guilty by a jury of six counts of indecent assault and one of rape.
At the trial, the victim says how Goff, originally from Chardstock, East Devon, started assaulting her when she was under 13-years-old.
He went on to groom her for sex and raped her on one occasion after she told him to stop because she was in pain.
Goff failed to turn up for his sentencing hearing last month (July 5) – resulting in a judge ordering his arrest.
Miss Emily Cook, defending, said Goff had been in regular contact with his solicitors until the hearing when they had suddenly been unable to reach him.
She said it was "appropriate" for an officer to go to his address to reach him.
It was then made public on Thursday he had shot himself on the day he was due to return to Exeter Crown Court.
Judge Timothy Rose said: "It is a very tragic and sad outcome to this case. Mr Goff has died at his own hand."
He added that inquiries showed "he shot himself, to put it bluntly".
According to reports, Goff had asked a friend to give him a lift to the court – but cancelled the day before the hearing. He also gave his dog to one of his neighbours to look after.
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