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Police seek sex offender, 70, after woman found dead in Somerset flat | Somerset | #childpredator | #kidsaftey | #childsaftey


Police are searching for a dangerous convicted sex offender who vanished after the body of a woman was found at his flat in Minehead, Somerset.

Detectives said they were worried Richard Scatchard, 70, could pose a risk to any women he forms a relationship with and fear he may already have done this in the 10 days he has been missing.

Officers say Scatchard, who was jailed in 2000 for drugging and sexually assaulting victims, could be anywhere in the country.

Avon and Somerset police revealed that their professional standards department was looking at how officers initially acted when they were called to Scatchard’s home after the death of 61-year-old Kelly Faiers.

The ambulance service alerted the police to the death of Faiers, from Weston-super-Mare, at Scatchard’s address on Sunday 15 October. Officers attended and returned the following afternoon – 16 October – to speak to him about the death but he had disappeared.

Kelly Faiers
Kelly Faiers. Photograph: Avon and Somerset Constabulary

A forensic postmortem examination to determine the cause of Faiers’ death was inconclusive. Her death is being treated as suspicious while police await the results of further tests.

DCI Jess Aston said: “We initially treated Scatchard as a high-risk missing person due to concerns he presented an immediate and serious risk of harm to himself. As our inquiry has progressed, we have become less worried about his welfare and far more concerned about the danger he presents to other people.

“His previous behaviour, along with information we have gathered since his disappearance, makes us anxious that he may have formed a new relationship with one or more women and that he presents a serious risk to their safety.

“Scatchard is a prolific user of dating apps and has previously been convicted of sexual offences in which he administered drugs to his victims to enable his crimes.”

Since an earlier appeal, the police have received 24 reported sightings, the majority in Minehead and nearby Watchet. Police have asked people to call 999 immediately if they see him and not to approach him because they do not know how he may react.

It is believed Scatchard could be using a distinctive electric bicycle – a grey Gepida Alboin Curve, which has a pink front tyre rim, flowers on the rim of the rear tyre and green and yellow electrical tape around the handlebars.

He is white, about 5ft 11ins tall, of average build with short grey hair. He speaks with a Scottish accent and has previously claimed to be called Richard Dunlop.

Aston said: “Our professional standards department has been made aware of the incident and the initial police response to it and are currently carrying out an assessment.

“Our search has focused on the Minehead area, however Scatchard could be anywhere in the country – we know he has recent links to Cornwall and south Wales, while previous links include the Cheshire and Leicestershire areas. He was last seen in Minehead on 16 October.”



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