A MAN who was jailed for rape and sexual assault has died in prison.

Anthony Fruin died aged 85 while serving time at HMP Haverigg, an open prison.

The prisoner was 71 when he was jailed for an indeterminate time for the protection of the public after being convicted of multiple sexual assaults.

An inquest is due to be opened ahead of a hearing to look into his death.

Fruin was convicted at Bradford Crown Court in August 2006 of two charges of rape, sexual assault by touching and assault by penetration.

The court heard that he abused a 39-year-old woman with learning difficulties.

The woman had learning difficulties and suffered significant health problems after a serious childhood illness, prosecutor Colin Hendron told the court at the time. In June, 1994, Fruin had been locked up for eight years for a series of sex offences, including the abuse of two children under 16. Judge Marson said Fruin was a sexual predator who posed a serious danger to women.

His barrister Sophie Drake said in 2006 that Fruin was in poor health and expected to die in prison.

Judge Marson said Fruin was a sexual predator who posed a serious danger to women. "It was perfectly obvious that your victim had significant learning difficulties and was vulnerable," he said.

The judge said that Fruin must be on the sex offenders register for the rest of his life. Mitigating, Miss Drake said that Fruin did not realise his victim had learning difficulties. There was no coercion and it was not a campaign of rape. She said that Fruin suffered from angina, high blood pressure, arthritis, tinnitus and deafness. He was convinced that he will die in prison.

A Prison Service spokesman said: “HMP Haverigg prisoner Anthony Fruin died in prison on 17 November.

"The Prisons and Probation Ombudsman has been informed.” The inquest is due to be opened at Cockermouth Coroner's Court on December 3.

According to the coroner's inquest diary it will be adjourned to April 5 2021, when a hearing will look into the circumstances of Fruin's death.