Page last updated at 21:39 GMT, Wednesday, 9 December 2009

Paedophile hate campaign 'killed' innocent man

Leaflets were handed out by police in Accrington to try to stop the attacks

An innocent man, who suffered months of abuse in a Lancashire community after false claims he was a paedophile, has died of a heart attack.

Two girls alleged Bryan Davies, 63, had sexually touched them in August - but police found their claims were false and had no foundation.

His wife Debbie Davies believes the subsequent hate campaign in Accrington caused his death on Friday.

Police said they were continuing to provide support to the family.

"The doctor told me my husband died of a massive heart attack," Mrs Davies, 43, said.

"As far as I am concerned those girls are responsible for what happened to Bryan.

As far as I am concerned those girls are responsible for what happened to Bryan
Debbie Davies, widow

"They are just nasty individuals. They have got nothing between their ears, they are morons."

The allegations were made after the couple refused to let the girls sleep over at their house or walk their dog, Mrs Davies said.

Although the girls' stories were dismissed by officers Lancashire Police did not prosecute the pair.

A spokeswoman for the force said the decision was based on their ages and a more "informal approach" was taken with the the help of social services.

Police later handed out leaflets to locals in the neighbourhood to state officially the allegations were "false and without any foundation whatsoever".

But a brick through their window, slashed car tyres and constant shouts of "paedo" and "pervert" in the street increased Mr Davies's stress, his widow added.

Brick through window

The couple moved homes to another street in the town recently but malicious rumours spread and the abuse continued.

Mr Davies, originally from the Cardigan Bay area of Wales, had a brick thrown through the window of his house last week.

And on Friday he was taken to hospital with a kidney problem but slipped into unconsciousness and later died.

Lancashire Police said they had made "reassurance visits" to Mr Davies's house on 29 November and again on 1 December.

Insp David Mangan said: "Our neighbourhood policing teams have been working closely with Mr Davies and his wife throughout and every complaint has been taken very seriously.

"This is obviously a very sad time for Mr Davies's family and we are continuing to provide support for them."

Print Sponsor

Leaflets to stop mistaken attacks
30 Sep 09 |  Lancashire

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Sign in

BBC navigation

Copyright © 2018 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific