A PENSIONER from Chard took his own life the day he was due to be sentenced.

Owen Goff, who was due to face years in prison for historic child abuse, shot himself last month.

A jury found him guilty of raping a teenage girl in East Devon 30 years ago.

READ MORE: Child rapist Owen Goff fails to turn up for court sentencing

Police carried out a check on his welfare after he failed to attend Exeter Crown Court, where he was due to be sentenced on Monday, July 5.

Goff, of Jubilee Close in Chard, has given his dog to a neighbour to look after and arranged for a friend to give him a lift to court, but cancelled the day before the hearing.

The 68-year-old had been allowed bail following the trial in June, during which he was convicted of one count of rape and six of indecent assault.

Judge Timothy Rose formally closed the case file after being told Goff had been found dead.

"An inquiry into his death is outside the ambit of this court and those inquiries will be made on behalf of the coroner in due course," he said.

“This is a very tragic and sad outcome to this case. I simply cannot put it any other way. These proceedings are now concluded.”

Goff, who was originally from Chardstock in East Devon, denied all the allegations and said they were false.

At his trial, the victim told how he started assaulting her when she was 11.