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Leicester Magistrates' Court cell death man Michael Charles was a suspected rapist


Police have revealed a man who died after collapsing in cells at a court was a suspected rapist.

Michael Ernest Charles, from Melton, was charged last week in connection with a rape and several other sex offences alleged to have taken place in the Syston area in the 1980s.

The 59-year-old was due to appear at Leicester Magistrates' Court on Saturday morning.

He was found collapsed in the cell block at the court at 10.15am and taken to Leicester Royal Infirmary, where he was pronounced dead.

Yesterday, an inquest was opened and adjourned. No cause of death was given but police say they are not treating his death as suspicious.

Mr Charles had been arrested last Friday and charged with one count of rape, two attempted rapes and three counts of indecent assault in connection with alleged offences between November 1983 and August 1984.

Police said four victims' complaints had been investigated at the time but had remained unsolved. Those incidents were later linked to a number of other crimes in the area in the same period.

No details have been released on what prompted the police to arrest Mr Charles last week.

However, a spokesman for the Crown Prosecution Service said: "We went ahead with charges after receiving a fresh file of evidence from police."

A police spokesman said four alleged victims have been spoken to and made aware of Mr Charles's death.

The circumstances surrounding the death were voluntarily referred to the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC). The IPCC decided there was no need for its involvement and Mr Charles's death has been passed back for investigation by the force.

Detective Chief Inspector Simon Cure gave formal evidence of identification at an inquest yesterday.

He said a post-mortem examination was carried out on Monday but that more tests were needed.

The inquest was adjourned.

A police spokesman urged victims who have never reported crimes committed against them to come forward, no matter how much time has passed.

Contact police on 101.

Leicester Magistrates' Court cell death man Michael  Charles was a suspected rapist

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