A PAEDOPHILE due to be sentenced for molesting young boys was the man found dead in the River Thames on Tuesday.

David Tuohy, 83, was supposed to be sentenced at Norwich Crown Court on Monday after being convicted last month for 15 counts of indecent assault against five boys in the 1970s and 80s.

Yesterday Oxford Coroner’s office confirmed that the body found on Tuesday evening by police divers was Tuohy.

Police were called to a bench on the towpath of the Thames near Osney Lock at about 7.20am after a passer-by noticed a bloodstain and a Rotary watch.

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Officers cordoned off the area and police divers then searched the river, recovering the body at about 6pm.

A new-looking Stanley knife was also recovered by police.

Thames Valley Police said they were not treating his death as suspicious.

Norfolk Constabulary spokeswoman Natalie Reed said: “Norfolk Constabulary can confirm 83-year-old David William Tuohy, who was due to be sentenced after being found guilty of a string of sexual offences against pupils at an independent school, has died.

“His victims have been notified of this latest development.”

  • Video: The police search on Tuesday

Tuohy, of Whitehouse Road in South Oxford, lived in sheltered accommodation.

Neighbours were yesterday shocked to hear of his death but said they only knew Mr Tuohy to say hello to when passing in the corridor.

They said his car wasn’t in the car park and they had assumed he had left the city, as he used to go away quite often.

A jury found Tuohy guilty of 15 separate charges of indecent assault on February 12. The court heard he assaulted the boys under the age of 13 between September 1972 and March 1983 during his time as head at New Eccles Hall School in Quidenham, Norfolk.

Tuohy denied 18 counts of indecent assault and four of a a serious sexual offence.

During the trial, prosecutor Andrew Shaw told jurors: “You may think from the evidence that he had a particular deviant sexual fascination with the bottoms of very young boys.”

Mr Shaw added: “It was a boarding school which catered for children who had not thrived in mainstream education in areas all over the country – in today’s language we would say they had special educational or behavioural needs. They were separated from their families and plunged into an unfamiliar environment.

“As one of the people charged with the duty of caring for these children, he abused the trust placed in him and used these children for his own sexual gratification.”

Tuohy was convicted of seven counts of indecent assault against one boy, three counts of indecent assault against a second boy, one count against a third, two counts against a fourth and two against a fifth.

He was found not guilty of seven counts including four serious sexual assaults and three indecent assaults against one of the boys. Following the case a further three or four possible victims have come forward.