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Sex pervert dies after cliff fall

5-10-2007 United Kingdom:
AN Exmouth pensioner, accused of having sex with an underage boy, has plunged to his death - overlooking the spot where his mother drowned years earlier.

Roger Cowd, of Ryll Grove, was found dead at Sandy Bay on Friday afternoon after falling 150 foot from cliff tops at Orcombe.

A keen runner, Mr Cowd, 65, last month appeared before magistrates and admitted having sex with a boy under the age of 16. He had been released on bail to appear at Exeter Crown Court for sentencing on May 11.

The police have not ruled out suicide, but are keeping an open mind until a coroner's inquest is held.

Det Sgt Pete Jones said: "I can confirm that, at the time of his death, Mr Cowd was on bail." He was not prepared to discuss the offence.

Batchelor Mr Cowd, an Exmouth Harriers' member and a reformed alcoholic, was found dead at the foot of the cliffs by two young boys on holiday from Birmingham.

The children, staying at Devon Cliffs Holiday Park, discovered his body while playing hide-and-seek with their parents.

The family alerted Exmouth's RNLI, the coastguard and police, who found Mr Cowd's body lying among the rocks.

Exmouth lifeboat deputy coxswain Giles White, one of the inshore lifeboat crew sent to recover Mr Cowd's body, said: "The family were having a picnic on the beach and the mum had gone on ahead with the lunch to hide.

"The two boys were trying to find their mum when they came across the body. Initially, they seemed okay but, when they realised what they had discovered, they were shocked and upset and the mother started crying."

The lifeboat crew took Mr Cowd's body back to the inshore lifeboat house where it was immediately collected by hearse.

In November 2000, Mr Cowd was hailed a hero for diving into a force eight gale sea to save the life of an 18-year-old French au pair who almost drowned off Orcombe Point while going into the water after a family dog.

It was exactly the same spot where his mother, Stella, had drowned 37 years earlier.

Mr Cowd received a top bravery award from the police for his life-saving act.

At the time of the rescue, Mr Cowd said: "She had gone in to get the dog, but got into difficulties herself. She could easily have drowned. The water was so rough. ..more.. by

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