A PAEDOPHILE maths teacher who abused young boys at a school in Worcestershire died after choking on his prison breakfast, an inquest has ruled.

The inquest into the death of John McKno, who was jailed in 2016 for abuses he committed at a school in Tenbury, heard how the then 74 year-old died from heart failure and choking while eating his morning meal at Norwich Prison.

The inquest jury ruled McKno, who had a number of health problems, died through 'misadventure'.

The former maths teacher had also committed abuses against children at schools in Suffolk and Devon, and was serving a 14-year jail sentence when he died in September 2019.

He was convicted of nine historic sexual assaults against five children, with two offences taking place at the former St Michael's School in Tenbury Wells against a victim under the age of 14.

These took place between 1979 and 1985.

Then aged 70, McKno, of Alby Hill, Alby, in North Norfolk, appeared at Ipswich Crown Court for sentencing, where the Judge warned him he could face a long sentence.

McKno originally denied all 12 offences he was accused of.

However, when the trial started in March, he pleaded guilty to nine of the charges.

Senior investigating officer DI Jim Gooding, said: “The sentencing of John McKno finally provides justice for his victims, who have waited between 30 and 40 years for this day.

“McKno committed the most heinous crimes and stole the childhoods of his victims from them, preying on them at a time when they were vulnerable and abusing his position of trust.”

Officers travelled more than 9,000 miles to speak with victims and witnesses, and an NSPCC spokesman said: “John McKno pursued a devious campaign to abuse vulnerable children with zero concern for the profoundly damaging impact it would have on them.

“As a teacher he was supposed to be in a position of trust but he cared little for the devastating and long lasting consequences of his horrifying actions.

“It beggars belief that he had the audacity to commit these crimes at three different schools around the country.

“The full force of the law should be used on sex offenders like McKno - however long after the abuse has happened.

“We must all be alert to signs of a child’s distress and responsible enough to act on our concerns without hesitation.

“For help and support children can contact ChildLine 24 hours a day, 365 days a year on 0800 1111 or by visiting www.childline.org.uk.”