"Fantastic" Harrogate Teacher's School Car Park Suicide.

22 February 2012, 18:12

A coroner has ruled science teacher David Charlesworth committed suicide by setting himself on fire in the car park of Rossett School in Harrogate in May last year.

The 43 year old, who was a dad of two young children, suffered 79 % burns to his body and died the day later.

The court was told he suffered from bouts of depression over a three year period, which often coincided with ``peaks of workload'' when A-level students were sitting exams.

The court was told he went to see his GP who initially treated him with medication before referring him to a mental health team in March 2011 but he never got assessed.  On four occasions, the GP surgery contacted the mental health team to see what was happening.

The coroner expressed concerns about the role of the mental health trust in its dealings with Mr Charlesworth and said :``I will be writing to the chief executive of the mental health trust to express serious concerns about how it was handled.''

He said he could not be sure the outcome would have been different if Mr Charlesworth had met the mental health team, but he added: ``I can say the chances of it being so must be greatly increased.''

The school's head Patricia Hunter told the hearing Mr Charlesworth had ``very high standards and never wanted to let anyone down, particularly the students."  She described him as a "fantastic teacher."

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