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Suicide verdict into teacher death

PUBLISHED: 10:16 27 June 2003 | UPDATED: 14:03 03 March 2010

A HEARING into the death of a Suffolk teacher found dead after being dismissed from one of the region's top schools has recorded a verdict of suicide.

Richard Baines, 28, was found unconscious in his room at Framlingham College on March 31.

A HEARING into the death of a Suffolk teacher found dead after being dismissed from one of the region's top schools has recorded a verdict of suicide.

Richard Baines, 28, was found unconscious in his room at Framlingham College on March 31.

Despite efforts by fellow staff members and paramedics, PE teacher Mr Baines died from his injuries in Ipswich Hospital the following day.

At an inquest held at Lowestoft Magistrates' Court yesterday Coroner George Leguen de Lacroix recorded a verdict of suicide and said that Mr Baines, had taken his own life while severely depressed.

Robert Skitch, of Carlton, near Saxmundham, a science teacher at the college, described Mr Baines as a good friend and colleague.

When in March this year the head of Framlingham College, Gwen Randall, announced that Mr Baines had been suspended Mr Skitch said he had been "shocked and surprised".

After leaving the college Mr Baines was living in a flat in Ipswich.

"Richard was sad and lonely and did not know anyone in Ipswich," said Mr Skitch.

On Monday, March 31, Mr Skitch was contacted by the college and told that Mr Baines was angry and upset.

"It took me 15 minutes to drive to the school but when I went to Richard's room the door was locked and I could not get inside," said Mr Skitch.

He then climbed a fire escape ladder at the rear of the room and when looking through a window could see Mr Baines hanging from a rope.

The Lowestoft Coroner said that shortly before Mr Baines was discovered in his room he had been dismissed from his position as a teacher for "gross professional misconduct".

Mr Leguen de Lacroix said it was not the purpose of the inquest to investigate the reasons behind the dismissal but said they were of a "highly confidential" matter and related to Mr Baines' conduct that went back to September 2002.

Mrs Randall attended the inquest but did not give evidence.

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