THE family of convicted child rapist Mitchell Harrison today spoke of their grief after he was discovered murdered in his prison cell.
The body of the 23-year-old, originally from Wolverhampton, was found by staff at HM Prison Frankland, near Durham City, on Saturday morning.
A post-mortem examination found that he died from “multiple injuries”.
Today, his family issued a statement describing him as a “much-loved son and brother”.
“Although we never condoned his past actions, he was serving his time and was by all accounts a model, trusted prisoner who did not deserve to die in this horrific way,” they said.
“We look forward to the day when the people responsible are brought to justice.”
Yesterday, Michael Parr, 32, and Nathan Mann, 23, appeared at Peterlee Magistrates’ Court charged with the paedophile’s murder.
Each man spoke only to answer his name during the brief hearing.
They are charged jointly with murder.
Neither entered a plea and the case was transferred to Newcastle Crown Court where the men will face a judge tomorrow.
They were remanded in custody.
Harrison was serving at least four-and-a-half years after a judge at Carlisle Crown Court said he posed a “substantial risk” to young girls.
He was also put on the sex offenders’ register for life after his sentencing in January last year.
The court heard how he lured his teenage victim to his flat in Kendal, Cumbria.
Once inside, he ordered her to strip before raping her twice.
It was the third time Harrison had been in trouble for sexually assaulting girls, the court heard.
When he was 13, he was given a formal warning for indecently assaulting a seven-year-old and when he was 15, he was taken to court for threatening to rape a 15-year-old classmate
Frankland is a Category A institution housing more than 800 inmates, including some of the most serious offenders in the prison system. They include Soham murderer Ian Huntley, 37.