A commemoration for the retired teacher was held in Arnhem at the weekend

A Dutch police chief has called for an end to “paedophile hunting” after a 73-year-old retired teacher was beaten up by teenagers and died of his injuries.

Oscar Dros said there was a risk that more people could die and he appealed for people to leave justice to the authorities.

The man from the eastern city of Arnhem was lured into having sexual contact with a minor while in a gay chatroom.

It is not known if he knew that the boy was just 15.

It is also not clear whether or not the former teacher was actually a paedophile.

The Arnhem attack is the latest in a series of 250 incidents involving so-called “paedophile hunters” in the Netherlands, reports say.

Reports say the group of teenagers had come up with the idea of hunting for a paedophile after reading stories elsewhere in the Netherlands.

The former teacher arrived at an agreed meeting point on 28 October and was then followed as he made his way home. He was beaten up by a group of boys and died later in hospital.

Mayor Ahmed Marcouch has spoken of an “awful crime” that has had an impact on the local community. Dozens of neighbours, friends and former pupils took part in a ceremony to remember the victim last weekend.

The fifteen-year-old’s lawyer told local website De Gelderlander that the idea of hunting paedophiles “happened out of boredom in this corona time”. His client had got carried away but did not himself take part in the attack.

Jamil Roethof argued that the teenagers had only wished to confront the man and had no premeditated plan to attack him. He suggested he had died of a fall.

Seven teenagers were arrested, six of them under the age of 18, and two have been held in custody.