Andrew Hadwin, 39, was found guilty of three counts of rape, seven counts of neglect, and one count of perverting the course of justice in January. Hadwin’s partner Cheryl Pickles, 35, was found guilty of five counts of child cruelty and one of perverting the course of justice.
Hadwin and Pickles were scheduled to be sentenced on April 28.
However, Hadwin was found dead inside his cell at the HM Prison Durham on Thursday, according to the U.K. Ministry of Justice.
The cause of the convicted pedophile’s death was not immediately known.
A prison spokesperson said, “As with all deaths in custody, the Prisons and Probation Ombudsman will investigate.”
Authorities were tipped off about alleged child abuse carried out by Hadwin and Pickles in 2018 after one of the children told another adult about the disturbing torture.
MEAWW reported, “Detectives found in the inquiry panning four years and involving over 150 witnesses – that the couple repeatedly abused their children by forcing them to eat soap, locking them in cupboards, making them take boiling hot showers and baths, and not giving them access to food. The children, who were sometimes submerged under water as punishment, often scavenged for scraps and were found on one occasion walking alone to a supermarket at 4 a.m. hoping to find some food.”
According to the LBC, “One child was left with life-limiting injuries and others were regularly hurt, Teesside Crown Court heard during their trial.”
Another child was reportedly dangled over a highway as a method of torture.
When Hadwin and Pickles were questioned about the accusations of child abuse, the couple allegedly forged letters by the children apologizing for making false allegations.
However, a handwriting expert debunked the letters and determined that the adults had actually written the letters said to be written by the children.
Detective Constable Kat Pudney, of Durham Constabulary’s Safeguarding Unit, said of the alleged child abuse, “This was an extremely complex and distressing investigation for all involved, the likes of which I have never encountered during my time as a police officer. Hadwin and Pickles subjected several vulnerable children to multiple forms of abuse, robbing them of their childhood, and undoubtedly leaving them with psychological wounds which they may never truly recover from.”