Vet overdosed on animal drug

A VETERINARY surgeon who was facing allegations of attempted rape and sexual assault overdosed on a powerful drug used to kill animals, an inquest has heard.

Russell Claydon

A VETERINARY surgeon who was facing allegations of attempted rape and sexual assault overdosed on a powerful drug used to kill animals, an inquest has heard.

Lee Hibbert, 30, of Turing Court, Kesgrave, took a potent drug used to put down animals ahead of his trial against sex attack allegations concerning three different women.

An inquest into the former Woodbridge School pupil's death yesterday heard how the vet called his parents to say a final goodbye just before he injected the fatal dose of pentobarbitone.


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Greater Suffolk Coroner Dr Peter Dean recorded a verdict that he took his own life at the hearing held at South East Suffolk Magistrates' Court in Ipswich.

His parents had called an ambulance before rushing to their son's home in Kesgrave, but they were too late to save him and he was pronounced dead at Ipswich Hospital.

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Hibbert, who worked for Smith Ryder-Davies and Partners in Felixstowe and the Barn Veterinary Surgery in Copdock, near Ipswich, was due to stand trial at Ipswich Crown Court on January 23 but took his own life on January 15.

He had been charged with three different sexual offences, one of attempted rape and two of sexual assault, spanning from September 2007 to March last year. The alleged offences were said to relate to the Felixstowe and Woodbridge areas. Police said they involved three alleged victims.

Hibbert had studied to be a vet at the Royal Veterinary College in London and Liverpool University and had been highly thought of within his profession.

The family did not wish to comment after the inquest, but Clair Missen, his girlfriend at the time, who is from Felixstowe, posted on the EADT website: “Lee was a dedicated vet and a loving, caring man who left a positive impact on those who knew him.

“Hundreds of people have contacted his family to express their support and condolence and I thank them for that. I know that the people who actually knew Lee will miss him greatly.”

She added: “I will never forget you Lee and nothing that is reported will ever change how I felt about you. RIP.”

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