Police release CCTV footage of 70-year-old sex offender wanted over death of woman in Somerset

Police have issued CCTV footage of Richard Scatchard, 70, wanted for questioning in murder inquiry into woman's death in Somerset

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Police have issued CCTV footage of a man wanted for questioning over the death of a woman in Somerset a month ago. Richard Scatchard, 70, who was last seen in West Somerset on October 16, is wanted on a recall to prison and in connection with a murder inquiry of 61-year-old Kelly Faiers at his home, in Minehead one day before his disappearance.

Avon and Somerset Police said Scatchard - a regular user of dating apps - poses a serious risk to women he forms relationships with and has previously been convicted of sexual offences in which he administered drugs to his victims to enable his crimes. Officers were alerted to the sudden death of Faiers from Weston-super-Mare, at Scatchard’s address on Blenheim Road, Minehead on (October 15). A forensic post-mortem examination to determine the cause of Kelly’s death was inconclusive and her death was treated as suspicous.

The police have also released CCTV footage of the pair, who were in a relationship at the time, at a pub in Minehead on the evening of October 14, having a drink together. In the early hours of the following morning, Scatchard called the ambulance service to his home due to Faiers being critically ill. She was pronounced dead at the scene.

Police were then called minutes later by the ambulance service at 4.15am. The officers who were called out spoke to Scatchard before leaving. However, Scatchard's home was found to be empty when the police attempted to ask him further questions in the afternoon.

The police now believe Scatchard spent the night after Kelly’s death in the Watchet area between October 15 and 16, which he used to regularly visit. CCTV captured at about 9am on October 16 shows Scatchard in the Swain Street area of Watchet - his last sighting on CCTV.

The police have culminated in more than 80 calls and online reports of potential sightings but those that have been reviewed have either been discounted or there is insufficient evidence to determine whether it is Scatchard. The vast majority of the reported sightings have come in the West Somerset area, but he may have travelled to another part of the country, the police added.

Senior Investigating Officer Detective Superintendent Gary Haskins said: “The forensic post-mortem examination carried out shortly after Kelly’s death proved inconclusive. The circumstances behind Kelly’s death are still unclear despite further test results, but it continues to be treated as suspicious. We still wish to speak to Scatchard to see if he can help us progress our enquiries. We desperately want to provide Kelly’s family with the answers they deserve as soon as we can.”

Det Supt Haskins continued: “The other equally important focus we have, which we particularly want the public’s help with, is the search for Scatchard. We are hugely appreciative of everyone who has sought to help our enquiries, from people calling in with information to locals putting in their business windows the wanted posters the Minehead neighbourhood team has distributed.

Avon and Somerset Police say Richard Scatchard poses a serious risk to women he forms relationships with.
Avon and Somerset Police say Richard Scatchard poses a serious risk to women he forms relationships with.
Avon and Somerset Police say Richard Scatchard poses a serious risk to women he forms relationships with.

“We have also had constructive conversations with the National Crime Agency who are providing us support with these searches, for which we are grateful. Ultimately, the best chance of us apprehending Scatchard is by a member of the public calling in with key information about his whereabouts. This may be through a chance sighting or even someone who has previously been reluctant to come forward – either way we’d please encourage those people to call 999. And if Scatchard sees this appeal, we’d urge him to do the right thing and to hand himself in.”

Scatchard is white, about 5ft 11in and has a Scottish accent. He’s known to have used the name Richard Dunlop previously.

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