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Police investigate claims 'Are You Being Served?' star John Inman sexually assaulted a schoolboy in the 1970s

The actor passed away in 2007. Photo: Fiona Hanson/PA

Devon & Cornwall Police are thought to be investigating claims that the actor John Inman sexually assaulted a 13 year old boy in the 1970s.

The alleged offences involving the 'Are You Being Served?' star are said to have taken place at a hotel in Torquay.

The actor sprang to fame playing Mr Humphries in the BBC TV series 'Are You Being Served?' Credit: PA

The alleged victim claims he was invited to the star's hotel room during the summer of 1979 - he was then 13 years old.

It's understood that a second man being investigated by the police is also dead.

"Devon and Cornwall Police are investigating an allegation of historic sexual abuse by two men against a boy in Torquay in 1979."

"The investigation, being led by the Force’s Sexual Offences and Domestic Abuse Team, is at an early stage and therefore it would be inappropriate to comment further."

But the actor's family have branded the investigation as a "witch hunt".

Speaking to The Mirror, his niece Debra Inman, said: “I’m in total shock. Accusing him of this is just awful. It’s unbelievable, horrendous.

You look at all the Jimmy Savile stuff and who is jumping on the bandwagon – people seeing an opportunity.

John was a national treasure, a lovely man."

– Debra Inman, niece