A man who eluded justice for over four decades after raping two young boys has died from cancer while serving a prison sentence.
John Merritt, known also as Walter Merritt, committed the crimes as a teenager in the 1970s and went on to marry and have four children.
In one case, Merritt lured one of the boys into his home with chocolate before raping him. In the other case, he lured the boy into his home with tea and cake before carrying out the attack.
While Merritt was prosecuted and sentenced in 2020 for the two counts of rape, he only served a fraction of his 10-year sentence before his death. The case has raised questions about why it took so long for Merritt to be brought to justice, and whether there could have been other victims who never came forward.
It also highlights the flaws in the criminal justice system and the challenges of prosecuting crimes that occurred decades ago.