A man who was convicted for a string of rapes in the Home Counties has died in prison, while his release was being considered.

Antoni Imiela, 63, who was dubbed the 'M25 rapist', received seven life sentences in 2004 for a number of rapes with victims as young as 10.

He died in custody at HMP Wakefield on Thursday (8 March) of what is believed to be natural causes, the Mirror reported.

"As with all deaths in custody, there will be an independent investigation by the Prisons and Probation Ombudsman," a prison spokesman said.

There was controversy after he was referred for a parole review in January from the jail term imposed on the railway worker from Kent who attacked women and girls by grabbing them and dragging them into secluded areas.

He had served 14 years for brutal attacks against nine women in London, Surrey, Kent, Berkshire, Hertfordshire and Birmingham. In one assault, he telephoned the mother of the victim to boast about raping her daughter.

After his 2004 conviction, a cold case review saw him convicted on a sex attack against a victim in 1987 and he was jailed for 12 years in March 2012.