A man has been arrested on suspicion of the murder of a convicted paedophile, following an attack in the pervert’s own home.
John Coxon, 77, who was jailed for trying to groom a seven-year-old girl, died two months after sustaining a serious head injury in a violent assault.
The attack happened at his home on 12 January, and he was rushed to hospital for treatment before passing away on 25 March.
A 64-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of causing grievous bodily harm but was later released under investigation. Now police have re-arrested the man, but this time on suspicion of murder.
Coxon was first before the courts in 2009, when he was convicted of possessing indecent images of children - but he failed to stop offending.
In 2016 Coxon was jailed for 12 months for possessing 474 indecent images of children on his computer, before being jailed again in 2017 for breaching a Sexual Harm Prevention Order by talking to a seven-year-old girl.
It is understood that he had lived in Stonehouse, Gloucestershire, with his wife for more than 10 years and neighbours say his house was targeted by local youths on a regular basis.
One woman, who wished to remain anonymous, said police installed a CCTV camera on the lamppost 15 metres from her home - to protect Coxon.
She said: “His house was targeted by the kids all the time, they would come along and egg it or smash the windows.
“I’m not sad he’s dead, it’s a relief. I had to bring up my children in this street, and I was always reluctant to allow them out the front to play.”
Another local resident, who says he has lived there for five years, said: “It’s not a tragedy for us.
“If he was killed, then fair play. Obviously the person who did it will have to serve their sentence, but they’ll probably be hailed a hero on the inside.”
A woman, who was passing Coxon’s home as she walked to work, said she was “outraged” that a man had been arrested for murder.
She added: “People have wanted him gone forever. Who would want a paedophile around anyway? I doubt anyone will help the police solve this crime.
“They shouldn’t be wasting their time with it [the murder investigation]. It’s karma”
For the rest of this week, a police presence is expected in the area as detectives continue to carry out enquiries.
Detective Inspector Adam Stacey said: “Over the coming days there will be a police presence at Mr Coxon’s address in Stonehouse while further searches take place there.
“We wanted to let the local community know why we’re in the area, and to also urge anyone who thinks they have information relating to Mr Coxon’s death to please come forward.
“You can contact us online or by calling us on 101, or if you’d prefer to provide information anonymously then you can contact Crimestoppers.
“We appreciate that we’re asking people to cast their minds back to January, in case they saw someone in the area or witnessed something.
“As Mr Coxon also died several months ago, we’re keen to hear from anyone who has heard anything about what led to his death.”