Photos of Richard Scatchard
Photos of Richard Scatchard (Avon and Somerset Police)

Gwent Police have shared an appeal to find a convicted sex offender with links to the county.

Richard Scatchard is wanted by Avon and Somerset Police. The 70-year-old is wanted on a recall to prison and is considered a risk to the public, specifically women he forms relationships with. Detectives also want to talk to him in connection with an ongoing murder inquiry.

He was last seen in Minehead on 16 October but he could be anywhere in the country.

The ambulance service alerted us to the sudden death of Kelly Faiers, 61, from Weston-super-Mare, at Scatchard’s address on Blenheim Road, Minehead on Sunday (15 October). A forensic post-mortem examination to determine the cause of Kelly’s death was inconclusive. Her death is currently being treated as suspicious while we await the results of further tests.

Kelly’s family are being supported and updated by specially trained family liaison officers.

Detective Chief Inspector Jess Aston said: “Our thoughts are with Kelly’s family at this tragic time and we’re doing all we can to provide them with the answers they deserve. Officers attended Scatchard’s address on 15 October and returned the following afternoon to speak to him about the death but he had disappeared. We initially treated Scatchard as a high-risk missing person due to concerns he presented an immediate and serious risk of harm to himself.

“As our inquiry has progressed, we have become less worried about his welfare and far more concerned about the danger he presents to other people. His previous behaviour, along with information we have gathered since his disappearance, makes us anxious that he may have formed a new relationship with one or more women and that he presents a serious risk to their safety.

“Scatchard is a prolific user of dating apps and has previously been convicted of sexual offences in which he administered drugs to his victims to enable his crimes. We’re using a wide range of resources and tactics to try and locate him but have so far been unsuccessful.

“Extensive searches continue to be carried out on both land and at sea in the Minehead area but we really need the public’s help. We’ve received 24 reported sightings of him following our earlier appeals – the majority of which were in Minehead and Watchet – and continue to ask people to call 999 immediately if they seem him. Do not approach him as we do not know how he may react.

“We’re also keen to hear from anyone who might know where he is or has knowledge of who he’s been in contact with recently.”

The last confirmed sighting of him is now at 10am on 16 October on Blenheim Road. It’s believed Scatchard could be using a distinctive electric bicycle – a grey Gepida Alboin Curve which has a pink front tyre rim, flowers on the rim of the rear tyre and green and yellow electrical tape around the handlebars.

Scatchard is white, about 5ft 11ins tall, of average build with short grey hair. He speaks with a Scottish accent and has previously claimed to be called Richard Dunlop.

DCI Aston added: “This is a complex investigation and our understanding of what may have happened to Kelly continues to evolve. Our Professional Standards Department has been made aware of the incident and the initial police response to it and are currently carrying out an assessment. Meanwhile, our absolute priority is to find Scatchard and see if he can assist with our enquiries. Richard, if you see this, please do the right thing and hand yourself in.

“Our search has focused on the Minehead area however Scatchard could be anywhere in the country – we know he has recent links to the Cornwall, Gwent and South Wales while previous links include the Cheshire and Leicestershire areas.

“If you can help, please get in touch.”

Any sightings of Richard Scatchard

Members of the public are being warned not to approach him but instead call 999 and provide the call handler with the reference 5223251706.