A paedophile who masqueraded for years as a churchgoing Mormon man died after contracting Covid in his Stockton prison cell, a new report has revealed.

Thomas Reed, 89, died on February 4, 2022, at hospital after medical release from HMP Holme House, in Stockton.

He was incarcerated two years previously, for sex attacks on two young children dating back to the 1980s.

The new report, from the Prisons and Probation Ombudsman (PPO), concluded that Reed died from a build-up of abnormal protein in the heart and heart disease, following a positive Covid test.

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In the 1980s, Reed, from Gateshead, lured a ten-year-old boy to his house, under the guise of allowing the youngster to use his binoculars.

When the boy’s back was turned, Reed knocked him to the floor and seriously sexually assaulted the youngster. Afterwards, he offered to take the boy home, kissing him first, and warning him not to tell as “no one will believe you”.

Another of Reed’s victims was a nine-year-old girl. While in his 60s, Reed would visit the young girl’s family. Unbeknown to her family, with whom he had built a relationship of trust, and would take advantage of their time alone.

He would sit the young girl on his knee and force her to retrieve sweets from his pocket; he would then trap her hand and force her to touch him. Reed would also touch her.

Read more: Gateshead paedophile, 87, likely to die in jail for 1980s sex attacks

Reed died after a period of deteriorating health, that saw him moved from HMP Durham to HMP Holme House, as it could better accommodate his needs. A month and a half before his death, Reed had a fall in his cell, breaking his hip.

He had a partial hip replacement and was discharged back to hospital. On January 13, 2022, a healthcare assistant recorded that Reed could not breathe properly, and by the end of the month, he had been readmitted to hospital.

Shortly before his demise on February 4, a nurse in the hospital where he was being treated noted that he had started to wheeze and had difficulty breathing.

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Mr Reed was the twelfth prisoner to die at HMP Holme House since April 2020. Of the previous deaths, 7 were from natural causes, and 3 were self-inflicted.

The clinical reviewer from the PPO concluded that the care Reed received in prison was partially equivalent to that which would have received outside of prison.

She makes several recommendations to ensure clinical processes comply with national guidelines, including long-term condition management and outpatient appointment management.