A man has died in an apparent suicide while awaiting trial on child sex offences.
Andrew Sercombe was found dead in a car in a country lane between Kennford and Clapham a few weeks after he appeared before magistrates, accused of historic abuse.
Sercombe, aged 57, of Belle Vue, Kennford, near Dawlish, was accused of five charges of sexual activity with a girl aged 13 to 15 between 2002 and 2008 at Exeter or Kennford. His case had been sent to Exeter Crown Court where he was due to face a trial in front of a jury in October.
The case was abandoned after Recorder Mr Philip Mott, QC, was told that Mr Sercombe had died on February 8 this year.
Mr Sean Brunton, prosecuting, told the judge: "You have probably seen from the documentation that he has passed away. The matter was listed for trial in October. Clearly his death has been confirmed by a letter from the coroner's office."
An inquest is due to be held by South Devon coroner Mr Ian Arrow on Mr Sercombe, who was found dead in his car on a road near Clapham, just outside Exeter.
Sercombe had appeared before Central Devon Magistrates at Exeter on December 2012, where his case was transferred to Exeter Crown Court.