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Child murder accused found dead in Chch

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 11/07/2016
Leon Jayet-Cole © TVNZ Leon Jayet-Cole

A man accused of murdering his autistic stepson is reported to have been found dead in Christchurch.

James Stedman Roberts, 35, was due to stand trial in the High Court at Christchurch in October over the death of five-year-old Leon Jayet-Cole last year.

The boy was admitted to hospital with serious head injuries and died two days later.

A police spokeswoman told NZ Newswire a 35-year-old man was found dead in Riccarton on Monday.

They wouldn't confirm how he died, however it has been reported that is a suspected suicide.

"Now I'll never know what happened to my little boy," Leon's mother Emma Jayet told Fairfax.

Roberts was released to an address in Riccarton on electronically monitored bail in December.

* Readers seeking support and information about suicide prevention can contact Lifeline's 24-hour telephone counselling service on 0800 543 354.

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