Abuse suspect kills himself

PUBLISHED: 08:00 05 February 2015

Flax Bourton's Coroner's Court

Flax Bourton's Coroner's Court

Archant

A CLEVEDON pensioner charged with a host of child sex offences killed himself just days before he was due in court to face trial.

Roy Ball, aged 81, used a disposable barbecue to poison himself in his home and his body was discovered by police officers.

An inquest into his death, held at Flax Bourton Coroner’s Court on January 28, heard he left a number of notes around his Edward Road South home before committing suicide on October 29 last year - just five days before he was due to appear at Preston Crown Court charged with offences dating back to the 1970s when he taught at a private school in Lancashire.

His body was discovered by police officers who visited his home and found the front door unlocked. They discovered Mr Ball dead in his bed, with a smouldering disposable barbecue nearby.

He had left several notes including one saying ‘sorry Cher’ and another saying ‘no resus’.

The barbecue had filled the property with fumes, which also resulted in four police officers being taken to hospital as a precaution after developing headaches and beginning to feel unwell.

Mr Ball, a widower and retired aeronautical engineer, was on bail when he died. In October 2013, he was charged with a number of offences, including sexual assault on victims aged eight to 12 between 1973-1977 and 14 counts of possessing indecent images of children from 2009-2013. He pleaded not guilty to all.

At last week’s inquest, the medical cause of death was recorded as acute carbon monoxide toxicity and Avon Coroner Maria Voisin concluded Mr Ball took his own life.

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