A TEACHER from Basingstoke who worked at a “dangerous school” where children had weapons hanged himself after an 18-month battle with depression, an inquest heard.

Nigel Clarke, 59 and of Tiverton Road, Winklebury, died on November 30 after he was found hanging in his bedroom by his son Timothy in the family home.

Mr Clarke’s wife, Susan, told the inquest at Basingstoke Magistrates Court on Wednesday that she believed the stress of her husband’s work at a school for children with special needs, and a new headteacher starting, had contributed to his depression.

She said: “The previous headteacher had tried to stop different children from coming to the school and I believe the council wanted to start putting in children who had mental health problems which the teachers were not trained in.

“There were also more dangerous children going to the school.

“Some weapons would be taken off them and given back to them at the end of the day.

“Staff working at the school went off work with stress and other issues. It is dangerous to work there.”

The inquest heard that Mr Clarke had been off work because he was suffering from depression following a virus, and would often stay in bed until mid-afternoon.

Mrs Clarke said her husband’s condition had appeared to improve during the last few months.

On the afternoon of Mr Clarke’s death, the inquest heard that he had suggested walking the dog to his son Timothy, before going upstairs leaving Timothy to watch television.

In a statement read by North East Hampshire coroner Andrew Bradley, Timothy said: “I assumed he had fallen asleep but I noticed the door was open when I went upstairs and I realised what had happened.”

Timothy called 999, and paramedics talked him through performing CRP.

An ambulance crew arrived but they were unable to save the father-of-three.
PC McGloin, who attended the scene, said: “We arrived at 3.50pm and the ambulance team explained they were still working on saving [Mr Clarke’s] life.” PC McGloin said she had been in contact with Mrs Clarke after Mr Clarke went missing last May.

A statement read to the inquest from Southern Health explained how Mr Clarke was assessed regularly for depression and had previously had thoughts of suicide.

It read: “He never acted on it because of the fear for his family and it not working.

“His mental state had improved and the suicidal thoughts appeared to have lessened.”

Mr Bradley told the inquest that although Mr Clarke was showing signs of improvement he “had gone through a black patch that hit him”.

Recording a verdict of suicide, Mr Bradley said: “Mr Clarke found himself to be a victim of the system. In the cold light of day He decided to take matters into his own hands and perhaps there can be some comfort in that.”