Drink drive accusation came before death

DID the shame of being accused of drink-driving lead a top doctor to suicide?That was the question being asked by friends and colleagues of Christopher Pearce today.

By Tracey Sparling

DID the shame of being accused of drink-driving lead a top doctor to suicide?

That was the question being asked by friends and colleagues of Christopher Pearce today.

The consultant had been caught by police on Saturday and detained overnight in the cells before being released.


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He was allowed home from police custody at 6.25am on December 29 - the day before his body was found.

The Police Complaints Authority (PCA) will oversee the investigation into the doctor's death because he died less than 24 hours after he left a police cell.

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A police spokeswoman said: "Suffolk Police have voluntarily referred this matter to the independent Police Complaints Authority as is standard procedure.

"A senior officer from Suffolk constabulary will now investigate the matter under the supervision of the PCA."

A PCA spokesman confirmed that the case had been referred to the authority yesterday .

He added: "The case was referred to us, voluntarily, and we have agreed to take it on."

He said the primary purpose of the investigation would be to produce a report for the coroner to explain the circumstances surrounding Dr Pearce's death.

"The secondary purpose will be to ensure the police officers who dealt with Dr Pearce carried out their functions properly while he was in custody," he added.

The coroner has been informed of the death and an inquest to establish the cause of Dr Pearce's death will be held at a later date.

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