Hospital staff in shock after death
IPSWICH Hospital was dealt a hammer blow today as it emerged a body found by a pond was one of its senior consultants.The 54-year-old man found lying face down near the children's play area in Holywells Park on Monday morning has been identified as Dr Christopher Pearce.
By Tracey Sparling
IPSWICH Hospital was dealt a hammer blow today as it emerged a body found by a pond was one of its senior consultants.
The 54-year-old man found lying face down near the children's play area in Holywells Park on Monday morning has been identified as Dr Christopher Pearce.
A knife was found beside his body, and the death was initially treated as suspicious but a post mortem examination the same day by Home Office pathologist Dr Michael Heath at Ipswich Hospital ruled out foul play.
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Dr Pearce, head of biochemistry at the hospital, is believed to have killed himself just hours after he was released from police custody.
He had been detained overnight for alleged drink driving.
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Today Oxford-educated Dr Pearce's colleagues were said to be "ashen faced" when they were told the news.
His devastated wife Christine, who also works in the caring profession, is being comforted by friends. The couple are understood not to have any children.
The 54-year-old doctor from the Woodbridge area, who joined the Ipswich Hospital pathology team 12 years ago, had worked in the NHS for 30 years.
Today tributes were paid to the dedicated and careful scientist, who made an immense contribution to the treatment of thyroids and other glands for hundreds of patients from across East Suffolk.
He was described by colleagues as a meticulous professional, who made an immense contribution to work of the hospital and cared passionately about his patients.
Dr Philip Jones, clinical director of the pathology directorate, said: "We are all deeply saddened and feel and acute sense of loss at his death. Chris took a great deal of pride in the department of clinical biochemistry, which he led, and the work of the pathology team.
"He was highly respected and extremely well-liked by all his colleagues throughout the Trust. This respect was richly deserved. "We shall miss him dreadfully."
A hospital spokeswoman said: "It was a very emotional time when all his colleagues were briefed. All of our thoughts are with his wife and family. His loss will be felt, not just now but for always."
Dr Pearce would ordinarily have been due to run a clinic at the hospital from 2pm to 5pm yesterday.
The hospital plans to hold a memorial service for Dr Pearce and keep a book of remembrance in his name.
A Citroen Xsara S-registered car taken away from Nacton Road for examination on Monday, is believed to have belonged to Dr Pearce.
Residents in the area said the red car had been parked in a no-parking area since 2pm the previous day.