Bathroom 'moment' ends in tragedy

A COMMITTED Christian from Suffolk died after enjoying a “private moment of excitement” in a bathroom before starting Warwick University, an inquest in Gloucester has heard.

A COMMITTED Christian from Suffolk died after enjoying a “private moment of excitement” in a bathroom before starting Warwick University, an inquest in Gloucester has heard.

Timothy Raine, of Medway Road, Ipswich, was 18 when he was found hanging by his black leather belt in the bathroom of a holiday home in Gloucestershire.

It was later discovered that the teenager, a gifted mathematician, had been surfing the internet looking at websites that contained bondage material.

The inquest heard he had been staying with his father and stepmother at the holiday home in Park Road, Blockley, where he was found hanging on July 15 this year.

His father Michael Raine said his son was a committed Anglican church-goer who drank rarely and, to his knowledge, had never taken drugs.

Mr Raine said Timothy's natural mother had died of a brain haemorrhage aged 36, just 10 days after giving birth to him.

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He said the morning that Timothy died they had all gone for a walk before he and his wife had fallen asleep.

"I went upstairs to the toilet and the bathroom door was locked," Mr Raine said.

"I called out to Tim but got no answer. I was starting to become frightened. The bathroom door had frosted glass and I could not see through the window. I was getting increasingly concerned.

"I forced the bathroom door open. Tim was lying on the floor. His feet were down by the toilet and a black belt around his neck. It was his belt."

Mr Raine then tried to resuscitate his son before the emergency services arrived. He later sent a letter to the coroner saying he had discovered websites on his son's computer that suggested he had been looking at bondage sites for several months.

Pathologist Dr Neil Shepherd said the cause of death was asphyxia due to hanging and was consistent with an auto-erotic hanging.

Gloucestershire coroner Alan Crickmore, recording a verdict of accidental death, said: "His father bravely brought to light the content of certain bondage websites. There is nothing in these websites that causes alarm but it does raise the possibility that perhaps this young man was experimenting with an auto-erotic experience."

Mr Crickmore said that he could not record a verdict of suicide because he was not satisfied that Timothy wished to kill himself.

"I believe this young man, who gave nobody any reason why he would want to harm himself, was undertaking a private moment of excitement that went wrong."

After the inquest, Timothy's family said in a statement: “The unexpected and sudden loss of Tim has been a great shock to us all.

“Today sees the official case brought to a close and for us marks another step along the way adjusting to life without him. He was a quiet, kind and gentle young man. He enjoyed his studies, especially mathematics and physics.

“We miss him very much and still find it extremely hard to believe he is not here. Our family and friends have been a tremendous help and we have also drawn much comfort and strength from our Christian Faith and the support and prayers of our Church Family and also knowing that Tim shared the same Faith. We would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone involved for their dedication, support, sensitivity and consideration.”

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