Murderer dubbed 'The Beast' died from heart disease

Andrzej Kunowski
Image caption Kunowski came to the UK in 1996 after escaping from a Polish prison

A serial rapist dubbed "The Beast" died from heart failure while serving a life term for murdering a 12-year-old girl in London, an inquest heard.

Illegal immigrant Andrzej Kunowski was jailed in March 2004 after strangling Katerina Koneva in Hammersmith, west London, in 1997.

Polish-born Kunowski died aged 53 in the high security Frankland Prison in Durham last September.

He had attacked at least 30 women and children in the UK and in Poland.

Kunowski came to the UK in 1996 after absconding from a Polish prison where he had been convicted of 17 rapes.

He became known as "The Beast" in Poland for the attacks he committed there.

He was living in Acton, west London, when he was handed a whole life tariff which meant he would never have been freed.

An inquest jury at Chester-le-Street heard Kunowski died suddenly in his cell. He had a long history of heart problems and had undergone a heart bypass.

On Thursday, County Durham Coroner Andrew Tweddle directed the jury to return a verdict of natural causes.

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