Convicted paedophile dies after contracting coronavirus in jail

A convicted paedophile has died after contracting coronavirus in jail.

Leslie Pieroni, 51, died on Thursday – six days after he fell ill at Cook County Jail in Chicago, US.

Pieroni had been held in custody in December 2018 for sexually abusing a 13-year-old boy and had previously been convicted and sentenced to eight years for abusing two children in 2006.

He was awaiting trial when he died.

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Cook County Jail has been branded America’s worst hit jail during the coronavirus outbreak – with 407 inmates and staff diagnosed with the virus.

Another inmate, Jeffrey Pendleton, 59, died days before Pieroni on April 5 and his family are looking to sue the jail after claiming it failed to protect its prisoners.

Prisoners at the jail have posted notes in the windows of their cell pleading to be freed from the facility during the coronavirus pandemic.

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Other jails in America have become hotspots for the virus, due to the close quarters in which inmates live.

Britain’s jails have also been hit by the virus. Two staff members at north London’s Pentonville Prison have died after suffering Covid-19 symptoms, the Prison Officers’ Association (POA) said.

Bovil Peter and Patrick Beckford were both support staff workers at the jail, and were believed to be aged in their 60s.

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POA national chairman Mark Fairhurst said: “My thoughts and prayers are with everybody involved with these tragic deaths – two at the same prison is very concerning.”

Mr Fairhurst said he did not know if either of the men had any underlying health conditions.

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