February 2018

A paedophile whose victim was forced to write a letter of apology to him has died in prison

An elderly paedophile who was jailed for repeatedly molesting a young girl has died while serving his sentence.

Frank Mills, from Gravesend, was aged 78 when he died on May 27 last year at HMP Elmley in Sheerness.

Mills was locked up in September 2016 for six years and eight months, after admitting multiple counts of indecency with a child, and sexual and indecent assault which took place over a number of years.

His innocent victim, a young girl, was forced to write a letter of apology to him, after she told her parents about the abuse she suffered and they didn’t believe her.

But she bravely went to back the police again years later in 2014, and he was subsequently arrested for his crimes.

An inquest into his death was opened on June 13 last year, and it was concluded yesterday (February 7) at The Archbishop’s Palace in Maidstone.

Coroner Joe Cooper considered the evidence provided by medical professionals and the prison service, to discover the events leading up to Mills’s death.

He had a below-the-knee amputation on his right leg shortly before he was sentenced.

When Mills was sent to Elmley, the prison service was already aware of his “multiple and complex medical needs.

Mills suffered from a variety of conditions including Parkinson’s, diabetes, peripheral vascular disease and emphysema.

He had been admitted to Medway Maritime Hospital several times during his time in prison, and on April 13 a ‘do not resuscitate’ order was put in place.

His leg had also become necrotic and gangrenous around the site of his amputation.

Mills was being cared for in the prison, and in the days leading up to his death, an open door policy was put in place to allow for “proper opportunities to observe” him.

A nurse observed him as breathing at 10am on the morning of his death, but breathing had stopped when Mills was checked again at 10.30am.

Mr Cooper said: “The doctor was called and attended, and declared life extinct at 10.50am on May 27, 2017.”

The coroner also found that the level of care provided to Mills up to his death in Elmley prison “was at least equivalent to what he would have received in the community.

“He was prescribed appropriate palliative care treatment.”

Coroner Mr Cooper said: “This was an expected death due to natural causes.

“Mr Mills died from urosepsis and peripheral vascular disease in the context of multiple and serious medical conditions including ischemic heart disease and diabetes.

“The body was examined by prison officers and it was noted that there were no self defence injuries – officers found nothing suspicious and no evidence of third party involvement.

“The deceased had a number of long term conditions when he was taken into custody.

“Death was due to a combination of these factors.”