Teacher hanged himself after dismissal

A SUFFOLK teacher hanged himself minutes after being dismissed from one of the region's top schools, an inquest heard.Richard Baines, 28, was found unconscious in his room at Framlingham College on Monday, March 31 this year but the reasons for his dismissal remain a mystery.

A SUFFOLK teacher hanged himself minutes after being dismissed from one of the region's top schools, an inquest heard.

Richard Baines, 28, was found unconscious in his room at Framlingham College on Monday, March 31 this year but the reasons for his dismissal remain a mystery.

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.


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Robert Skitch, of Carlton, near Saxmundham, a science teacher at Framlingham College who also helped Mr Baines with sports at the public school, described Mr Baines as a good friend and colleague.

"He did a lot more for the school than was expected of him," said Mr Skitch.

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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".

Mr Skitch said that senior staff at the school had given no reason for the suspension and when he questioned Mr Baines, who had left the school and was living in a flat in Ipswich, he said he did not know why he had been suspened.

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

When he tried to establish the reasons behind the suspension senior staff at the school were "non-committal" 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.

With the help of other staff members Mr Skitch managed to break through the door of the room and attempted to revive Mr Baines.

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.

Framlingham College had no statement to make on the matter following the inquest.

Mr Baines, a former pupil of Highfield School, Letchworth, and Hitchin Boys School, was the adopted son of Linda and Brian Baines, of Hitchin.

They attended the inquest but had no comment to make following the verdict.

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