Child sex abuser found dead at home

A man who was facing a sentence after being found guilty of grooming a 15-year-old girl was found dead on the morning of his hearing.

Robert Hanson, 31, of Bowness Avenue, Thornton, was convicted of four counts of sexual activity with a child under 16 on July 1, following a trial at Preston Crown Court.

A spokesman for Lancashire Police said: “We were called at approximately 9.20am to an address on Bowness Avenue, Thornton, to reports of a sudden death.

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“Upon arrival at the property officers discovered the body of a 33-year-old man, who was sadly pronounced dead at the scene.

“The death is currently being treated as non-suspicious and a file has been passed to the coroner.”

Preston Crown Court confirmed it had been made aware the defendant, who should have been sentenced on Monday, was deceased. A further hearing will take place at the crown court to formally deal with the criminal proceedings next month.