A man facing a number of rape charges has died in prison on the morning he was due to appear in court, it has emerged.

Darmararham Jayakanthan, 41, of Sowden Road, Chellow Grange, Bradford, was due to appear for a hearing at Bradford Crown Court yesterday.

He was facing six allegations of rape as well as six charges of oral rape, dating from March 2013 to September 2018. Some of the charges related to a girl under the age of 13 and some to a woman.

He was also facing a charge of assault occasioning actual bodily harm and had been due to appear before the court with the help of a Tamil interpreter.

The court heard yesterday that the defendant had been found dead at Doncaster prison on the morning of the hearing, with the time of death confirmed at 7.21am.

No details were provided in court as to how Mr Jayakanthan had died.

Serco, the firm which runs HMP Doncaster, and the police officer in the case were said to be in the process of notifying Mr Jayakanthan's next of kin.

Judge Jonathan Rose confirmed that no further action would be taken in respect of the charges.

Jerry Spencer, Serco Prison Director at HMP Doncaster, said: “I can confirm that there was a death of a prisoner at HMP Doncaster this morning. As with all deaths in prison, a coroner’s inquest will be held in due course.”