A PENSIONER convicted of a string of horrific sex offences has died of coronavirus while serving his sentence.

John Malcolm Maunder was serving his sentence at Winchester Prison when he became ill, an inquest heard.

The 79-year-old was serving a 13 year jail term for a series of sex offences.

The crimes included seven rapes and were reported to have been committed in the 1970s.

An inquest has been opened into his death and heard that Maunder had long term health problems.

On March 29, he was admitted to Southampton Hospital for radiotherapy.

His health deteriorated and he died at Royal Hampshire County Hospital, in Winchester, on April 20.

Details of how Maunder died were revealed in a post mortem report by Dr Stephanie Killick which was read to the inquest held in Winchester.

It said that the preliminary cause of death as a lower respiratory tract infection with coronavirus and ongoing health issues contributing.

Area coroner Jason Pegg has adjourned the full inquest into the death to February 2 2021.

Maunder was convicted of the offences, committed against a girl under the age of 16, at Swindon Crown Court in November 2014.

His address at the time was given as Mulberry Grove, Swindon.

A spokesman for the Ministry of Justice said: “A 79-year-old HMP Winchester prisoner died in hospital.

"Our condolences are with his family at this time.

“The Prisons and Probation Ombudsman has been informed.”