A MAN jailed for child sex offences and possessing extreme pornography died of sepsis just four months into his prison sentence.

Peter David John Bennett, 80, of Edward Road in Christchurch, was an inmate at Winchester Prison. He was pronounced dead at Royal Hampshire County Hospital on March 15.

An inquest heard that Bennett had prostate cancer which lead to cellulitis. Despite appropriate treatment he developed sepsis.

Area coroner Jason Pegg recorded that the retired printer died from natural causes.

Bennett was jailed for five years and 10 months in November last year at Bournemouth Crown Court by Judge Alastair Malcolm, who described him an “adept groomer”.

The court heard the pensioner, who had a history of sex offences against children going back more than 50 years, encouraged what he thought was a 12-year-old girl to have sex with her pet dog and a horse.

The person he thought was the 12-year-old girl was actually a woman from paedophile hunter group STOP.

Over a two-month period he had a series of conversations with the "girl", giving her his address and encouraging sexualised behaviour.

The STOP group passed information to another paedophile hunter group, which confronted him on his doorstep.

The encounter was live-streamed on Facebook and gained more than 100,000 views.

When he appeared in court in November, Bennett pleaded guilty to attempting to incite or cause a girl under the age of 13 to engage in sexualised activity, attempting to communicate with a child in sexualised terms, and possessing extreme pornography.

The court was told his first offence was in 1963 when he was jailed for indecent assault on a girl under 14.

Eight years later he assaulted a girl under 16, then in 1972 he grabbed an 18-year-old girl, drove her to a secluded spot and forced her to perform sexual acts.

Bennett also had convictions for indecent exposure in 1969 and in the 1980s. In 2006 he appeared at Bournemouth Crown Court after he was found to have made and distributed more than 340 indecent images of children – 68 of which were at the most serious level.