Man found dead before trial over sex offences


- Credit: Archant

A FORMER teacher was found dead at his home just days before he was due to stand trial charged with sexual offences against children.

Roy Ball’s body was found at his home in Edward Road South, Clevedon, on Thursday after police were called by a member of the public.

His trial was due to begin at Preston Crown Court on Monday but the court was told he had died.

The offences he was accused of relate to the time when he worked as a teacher at a private school in Lancashire in the 1970s.

The charges, which included sexual assault on victims aged eight to 12 between 1973 and 1977, came after an investigation was launched by Lancashire police in November, 2012. He was charged the following October.

The counts against him also included 14 of possessing indecent images of children, which date from 2009-2013.

Mr Ball, aged 80, had pleaded not guilty to all of the charges and at the time of his death was on bail.

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A hearing is now due to be held at Preston Crown Court on November 13 when the case is expected to be discontinued.

A spokesman for Avon and Somerset police said: “Police were called to a property in Edward Road South at 3.30pm by a member of the public concerned for a man’s welfare.

“Officers attended and found the body of a man in his 80s. His death is not being treated as suspicious.”

Mr Ball’s death is now being handled by Avon coroner’s officers and a post mortem is due to be carried out this week.