The court case against a suspected child sex offender has been dropped after the defendant was found dead by police.
The case was discontinued after a death certificate for John Melly, 51, of Havencrest, in Cavell Avenue, Peacehaven, was handed to Judge Janet Waddicor at Lewes Crown Court on Wednesday (15 March).
Melly, who faced trial on 10 counts of raping and sexually abusing two girls under 13 years old, was found dead in his flat by Sussex Police at the end of January.
The force said: “A man’s body has been found in a flat in Peacehaven after concern was raised for his welfare.
“Police officers gained access to the property in Cavell Avenue on Monday 30 January after the 51-year-old man hadn’t been seen and had failed to attend an appointment.
“There are no suspicious circumstances and the matter has been passed to the coroner’s officer.”
Melly’s death was initially reported to Judge David Rennie at Brighton Crown Court on Tuesday 31 January.
The defendant faced two charges of raping a young girl, three charges of sexually assaulting her and two charges of inciting or causing her to engage in sexual activity.
He was also accused of sexually assaulting another young girl, assaulting her causing her actual bodily harm (ABH) and inciting or causing her to engage in sexual activity.
All 10 offences were alleged to have taken place in Peacehaven between dates in February 2002 and October 2012.