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Sex offence charges man committed suicide

7-4-2007 United Kingdom:

A 56-year-old man hanged himself days before he was due to appear in court charged with gross indecency with a girl under 16.

An inquest heard that Douglas Hardman had split with his wife Maureen in January and had told her that he would "end it all."

"I knew as soon as I opened the door and saw a policeman what he had done," she told the hearing.

advertisementMr Hardman, a caravan fitter, was found at his home in Troon Avenue, Blackburn, hanging from garage rafters on April 1. He was due to appear before Blackburn magistrates on April 4 on 12 charges of gross indecency with a girl under the age of 16.

Mrs Hardman said that since they split she had met her husband on several occasions to discuss financial matters and to sort out his business.

"He said he would end it all if things weren't sorted out," said Mrs Hardman. "He said he had already got things worked out in the garage. He knew exactly what he was doing."

Several notes for Mrs Hardman were found in the house.

The medical cause of death was given as hanging and coroner Michael Singleton recorded a verdict that Mr Hardman killed himself.

At the time of his death the Independent Police Complaints Commission said they would be investigating the police's dealings with Mr Hardman.

Mike Franklin, IPCC Commissioner for the North West, said in April: "Our investigation will examine all aspects of Lancashire Constabulary's dealings with Mr Hardman and, in particular, his release on bail.

"We will be seeking to determine whether anything could, or should, have been done differently that might have changed the course of events." ..more.. by Telegraph newsdesk

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