Edwin Holmes, made famous by Sainsbury’s viral moment, dies before alleged extradition on child sex abuse charges
An elderly widower who is the focus of a heartwarming viral moment when he was invited to a Christmas dinner by a kindhearted Sainsbury’s worker has died of natural causes before he was due to stand trial on child molestation charges.
Edwin Holmes, 92, made international headlines in 2017 when he was invited to dinner by a 22-year-old supermarket cashier who felt sorry for the “lonely” man who “had no more friends and family”.
The pair shared a meal at the store’s restaurant in Leeds, where Mr Holmes arrived sharply dressed in a crisp blue suit and tie with a bouquet of flowers for his date.
Five years later, the retired painter and decorator became one of the oldest Britons to ever face extradition when it was revealed in December that Holmes was wanted in Australia for allegedly sexually assaulting a girl under the age of 13 between 2008 and 2014.
But the convicted sex offender will never be brought to justice in Australia after his lawyer announced he died in the UK last month.
Holmes was out on bail at the time of his death after his legal team appealed the judge’s extradition decision.
Widower Edwin Holmes (right), who made headlines in 2017 after being invited to dinner by a Sainsbury worker, has died before he could be extradited to Australia
“He died on bail of natural causes and the case is now being closed,” his UK-based solicitor Natasha Draycott told The West Australian.
Daily Mail Australia have reached out to WA Police for comment.
Holmes lived in Leeds but no longer had family in Britain as his surviving daughter and two grandchildren lived in Australia.
His wife died in August 2006 after 45 years of marriage. He was a painter and decorator from the age of 14 until he retired at 76.
WA Police launched a full-scale investigation in 2017 after a young woman came forward claiming she was repeatedly sexually abused by him in Perth between 2008 and 2014.
Detectives attempted to extradite him to WA on seven separate charges of indecent dealings with a child under 13.
Three years later, Holmes was arrested in Britain on an international arrest warrant and brought before British courts.
During his December 2021 extradition hearing, the pensioner was assisted by a caregiver and took several breaks to use the disabled toilet.
Court documents during the extradition hearing showed that Holmes had previously been convicted in the United Kingdom of various sex offenses spanning several decades, including indecent assault, gross indecency and indecent exposure.
The couple had a “date” at the store’s restaurant and Mr. Holmes even dressed up for the occasion and brought her flowers
Lawyers for the alleged sex offender told the court that the elder Holmes suffered from a number of health problems due to his advanced age and argued that he should not be extradited as a result.
They also argued that his extradition could be viewed as “unjust” or “oppressive”. expressed “serious concerns about the effectiveness of the Australian prison system” if he ended up behind bars.
Lawyers and witnesses in court were asked to speak so that the hearing-impaired Holmes could follow the proceedings.
The court also heard that Holmes was of reasonable health, still driving and mostly self-sufficient.
In 2022, a district judge at Westminster Magistrates’ Court in London ruled in favor of extradition, which was also approved by then Home Secretary Priti Patel.
“I have concluded that the arguments against extradition are outweighed by those in favor,” Justice Nicholas Rimmer said.
“The interference with his private life is proportionate to the public interest in his extradition and it would not be unjust or oppressive to extradite him.”
Holmes appealed to the High Court to prevent extradition to Australia.
If found guilty, he faces a maximum of 10 years in prison.
The death of Edwin Holmes while out on bail in the UK means his young female victim is left unfair in WA (stock image)
How the ‘sweet moment’ at Sainbury lit the internet
Back in 2017, supermarket giant Sainsbury’s released Holmes’ dinner with the young cashier at the store cafe in Leeds.
The cashier offered to take the customer out to dinner after hearing that Holmes would be spending Christmas Day alone with a pre-packaged meal.
Holmes showed up for the date in his best suit and tie, along with a bouquet of flowers.
He and his young date were pictured having a Christmas roast together, exchanging candy.
The Sainsbury employee told The Sun at the time: “He said it was his first ‘date’ in 55 years and he was as nervous as a schoolboy.
“It made me cry because I could see how much it meant to him. For me, the most important part of my job is talking to customers and seeing how their day is going.”
‘[Holmes] is without a doubt my favorite customer.
“He’s the sweetest man and so talkative. I thought if it was my grandfather and he was alone I would want someone to talk to him.’
Holmes was quoted as saying: “The dinner made me very happy, as it was unexpected and I had very pleasant company.
“As for the suit, it was my first date in about 55 years, and [I got] the flowers because I wouldn’t go empty-handed.’
https://www.soundhealthandlastingwealth.com/uncategorized/edwin-holmes-of-sainsburys-viral-moment-fame-dies-before-alleged-child-sex-abuse-extradition/ Edwin Holmes, made famous by Sainsbury’s viral moment, dies before alleged extradition on child sex abuse charges