doc

A JUDGE today voiced his sorrow at the deaths of a child pornography offender and his wife who were both found hanged at their home in Quedgeley a fortnight ago.

Judge Jamie Tabor QC said at Gloucester Crown Court that the apparent suicides of Robert and Ellen Griffiths were 'an absolute tragedy.'

Mr and Mrs Griffiths, both 36, were found hanged from their loft space on 17th July - two days after a warrant had been issued for his arrest after he failed to attend court to be sentenced.

He had at an earlier hearing admitted fifteen charges of possesing indecent.images of children and 3 charges of possessing extreme pornographic images involving animals.

Today Julian Kesner, prosecuting, formally produced Griffiths' death certificate to the court and Judge Tabor discontinued the case.

He asked defence solicitor Joe Maloney if Griffiths had been a man of good character before the offences and Mr Maloney said he had.

"This is a tragedy, isn't it?" said the judge. "He was of good character and this was not the worst case of its type anyway. It is absolutely tragic. I will endorse the death certfiicate on the committal for sentence file."

The judge asked Mr Maloney if he had ever met Griffiths and the solicitor said he had not.

An inquest was opened last week into the deaths of Mr and Mrs Griffiths, who lived in Shawbury Avenue, Kingsway, Gloucester.

Coroner's officer Andy Nicholls said at that hearing "On 17th July concern was raised by Mrs Griffiths' family members that they had not heard from their daughter or her husband.

"They contacted the police and officers went to the property and forced entry.

"Mr Griffiths and Mrs Griffiths were found hanging by the neck from the loft space. There are no suspicious circumstances.

"Post mortem examinations have been carried out and the cause of death in both cases is vasovagal inhibition due to hanging."

The inquest into the two deaths is expected to be heard on January 25th next year.