Report clears cellmate of wrongdoing over death of notorious Chesterfield paedophile George Holden in prison custody

An investigation has found the cellmate of Chesterfield paedophile George Holden played no part in his death, despite a “scuffle” in the lead-up to a fall.
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George Holden, 89, died in hospital on November 7, 2022 while a prisoner at HMP Doncaster, having previously been jailed for 14 years.

The previous year, when Holden was jailed, Derby Crown Court heard the pensioner had sexually abused a number of boys during the 1970s.

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A report into Holden’s death by the Prisons and Probation Ombudsman states he was admitted to hospital on November 1, 2022, following two falls, one of which having occurred during an “altercation” with his cellmate.

George Holden, 89, died in hospital on November 7, 2022 while a prisoner at HMP DoncasterGeorge Holden, 89, died in hospital on November 7, 2022 while a prisoner at HMP Doncaster
George Holden, 89, died in hospital on November 7, 2022 while a prisoner at HMP Doncaster

Medical notes from a prison nurse recorded that Holden had later fallen off the cell toilet, was diagnosed with a potential hip fracture and transported to hospital.

After Holden confided in a custody manager about the argument from his hospital bed, his cellmate told the officer he had pushed the Chesterfield paedophile over when Holden “came” at him with “clenched fists”.

However the cellmate claimed Holden had got back up again, “went to toilet and fell and didn’t get back up again”.

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A post-mortem report concluded that Holden died of pneumonia caused by a fractured neck of the femur.

An inquest into Holden’s death heard a police investigation found there was no suggestion of any third party involvement in the fall (from the toilet) and was closed with no further action taken.

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Chesterfield “entertainer” and swimming teacher who abused boys at Queen’s Park ...

In November 2021 Derby Crown Court heard Holden sexually abused boys in the changing rooms at Queen’s Park Swimming Pool and in his home in the 1970s.

He also had oral and penetrative sex with two young victims - pupils at a school where his wife worked - at his home over a period between 1973 and 1978.

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The court heard the pensioner “groomed" and "charmed” both boys' parents, using his “celebrity” status as a children’s entertainer to gain their trust.

Prosecutor Julia King described how during swimming lessons he offered to dry boys in the changing rooms after lessons - performing sex acts on them.

Derby Crown Court heard sick Holden even sexually abused one of the boys while holding him in the water inside the pool.

The court heard while abusing two boys at his home Holden forced one of the boys to watch pornography and there was a “sex toy” present on another occasion.

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Holden gave both boys – aged between 7 and 11 years old – sweets to “keep their mouths shut” and threatened one that if he told anyone he would “hurt his parents” and his friends would “find out he was gay”.

On one occasion one of the young boys was on holiday in Skegness with his parents at the same time that Holden was performing at a nearby caravan site.

Ms King said Holden “abused (the victim) in his own caravan in the same way that he had at his home address”.

Judge Egbuna told Holden he “clearly knew” the offences were wrong.

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He added: “These offences were committed while your wife was not in the house and teaching.”

Telling Holden “despite your age it is clear to me you are a manipulative individual,” the judge noted while giving evidence Holden had sought to portray himself as “someone who had difficulties with your memory”.

However he added: “It was palpably clear to me you had a very good memory.”

Holden, of Ashgate Road, Chesterfield, admitted 17 offences – including 12 counts of indecent assault, two counts of gross indecency with a child and three counts of buggery.