Man facing rape trial found dead in Chippenham

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald: A man facing a second trial for rape and making threats to kill has been found dead in his Chippenham home A man facing a second trial for rape and making threats to kill has been found dead in his Chippenham home

A man facing a second trial for rape and making threats to kill has been found dead in his Chippenham home.

Michael Frederick Unwin was found in his house on Oak Road on Sunday.

Police described the 49-year-old’s death as sudden and said they are not treating it as suspicious.

Mr Unwin appeared at Swindon Crown Court for trial in February this year, accused of raping and threatening to kill a mother in her home, allegations which he denied.

The jury failed to reach verdicts and a retrial was scheduled for October 13.

Four police cars and an ambulance were seen outside Mr Unwin’s house on Oak Road, off Drake Crescent, shortly after 1pm on Sunday.

South Western Ambulance Service said they were called at 1.12pm but a man was dead on arrival.

The matter has been referred to the Independent Police Complaints Commission as a death following police contact.

A police spokesman said: “We were called to a residential address on Oak Road shortly after 1pm on May 11. A man was found dead inside the property.

“It is being treated as a non-suspicious sudden death.

"Wiltshire Police can confirm the body of the male has been formally identified as 49-year-old Michael Frederick Unwin.

“It would be inappropriate to comment further at this stage due to the ongoing process.”

During the five-day trial in February, the woman said she woke in the early hours of the morning, in December 2012, to find Mr Unwin standing over her bed.

She said he got in through a window and, after threatening her, dragged her to the front room and raped her while her toddler slept in a nearby room.

Mr Unwin insisted the woman had consented to sex and had sent him a text message inviting him.

She said he had taken her mobile phone and sent a text message to his.

An inquest into the death has not yet been opened.

Police said that a report will be prepared for the coroner for Wiltshire and Swindon and an inquest was likely to be opened in Salisbury this week.

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