October 2015

Pensioner jailed for sex offences against two young girls dies in prison


A PENSIONER who was jailed for sex offences against two young girls three decades ago died in prison, an inquest heard.

Alan Whitehead was convicted and jailed for three-and-a-half years in June 2013 for abusing the two girls in the early 1980s.

He died aged 74 at Forest Bank prison in Salford after suffering from a number of medical problems. His death was attributed to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease caused by smoking.

An inquest into his death at Bolton Coroners Court heard that Whitehead was single, and that he was a private person who was “inseparable” from his twin brother Frank.

Whitehead, of First Avenue, Little Lever was diagnosed with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease in 1992, also suffering from heart and chest problems and difficulty with hearing.

Whitehead was convicted on June 14, 2013 and received weekly visits from his family.

However his health began to deteriorate and he died on October 10 last year.

Pathologist Dr Philip Lumb, who carried out a post mortem examination on Whitehead, said the medical cause of death was bronchopneumonia caused by chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

When he appeared in court, Whitehead moved with the aid of a walking stick, but while in hospital he had to use a wheelchair as he became more frail.

He wept during the hearing at Bolton Crown Court when details of his crimes were read out, which came to light when the girls approached police in 2012.

The inquest is expected to conclude tomorrow.