THE cause of death of a convicted paedophile who was found guilty of molesting five former pupils at an Oxfordshire home has been ruled as ‘natural causes’.

Rodney Smallman, 81, was jailed for 12-and-and-half years at Oxford Crown Court in 2015, after being found guilty of molesting five former pupils of a home in Banbury.

The crimes were committed against children as young as 10 during the 1970s and 1980s, whilst Smallman was deputy head of a boys’ home which is now closed.

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The paedophile subjected boys across the country to sadistic abuse when he was supposed to be looking after them.

He had since moved to Warrington and died on March 11 last year while serving his prison sentence at HMP Risley.

An inquest held at Warrington Coroners Court in April that year heard Smallman collapsed in prison and was taken to Warrington Hospital where he died.

In July, the inquest concluded and his death was ruled as ‘natural causes’.

The court heard that the prisoner suffered ‘sensation changes in his limbs and his condition deteriorated’.

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A report produced by the Prisons and Probation Ombudsman wrote that Smallman had developed ‘venous ulcers’ while in prison but there was ‘no evidence’ that healthcare staff had carried out an initial assessment of the ulcers or created a management plan to treat them.

Three recommendations were made to the prison following this report.

A clinical reviewer suggested that the Head of Healthcare should ‘ensure that prisoners with long-term conditions are reviewed annually in line with NICE (National Institute for Health and Care Excellence) guidelines and have appropriate care plans created in a timely manner’.

The second point was that the Head of Healthcare should’ ensure that prisoners with complex care needs are added to the Complex Care Register’ as well as ensuring that prisoners who ‘develop leg ulcers have an initial assessment and that a management care plan for their treatment is created’.

It was also noted that Smallman had Type 2 diabetes, heart failure, an irregular and often fast heartbeat, a blood circulation disorder and hypertension which contributed to but did not cause his death.

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In the report, the author Adrian Usher said: “Annual reviews of Mr Smallman’s long-term conditions were not completed within the timescales outlined in NICE guidelines and care plans were not created in a timely fashion.

“He was not added to the Complex Care Register when he should have been. We shared the initial report with the prison service.

“There were no factual inaccuracies. Their action plan has been appended to this report.”