M6 Death leap of sex charge man

A music teacher facing a charge of indecently assaulting a pupil killed himself hours after learning a further allegation had been made against him.

Roy Clifford Cotterill slashed both his wrists, took an overdose of prescription drugs and jumped from a bridge over the M6 motorway.

The 68-year-old had already denied a charge of indecently assaulting a girl under the age of 13 and was due to stand trial in September.

But police phoned him the day before his death to tell him that another of his pupils had made an accusation against him, an inquest in Bolton heard.

Shortly after midnight on July 26 last year he was seen jumping from the Miles Lane bridge having left a note to his family in his nearby car saying he "couldn't cope".

A police patrol which spotted him standing on the M6 bridge at junction 27 had earlier spoken to him twice – but they did not think he would do anything untoward.

Mr Cotterill's wife Kathleen told the inquest that her husband "bottled up" his emotions but she thought that he had been depressed since the allegations were first made in January 2005.

She said: "He denied those allegations. I immediately rang (all his pupils] when he came home from the police station and everyone said they would carry on with him.

"Not one of them believed the charges."

Mrs Cotterill said that on July 18 her husband had appeared in court and the preliminary hearing had been reported in a local newspaper.

She said: "He started to get threatening calls.

"We rang police and they told us to get our number changed."

Mrs Cotterill said her husband, who taught piano and drums, received a call at 2.30pm on July 25 and she assumed it was his solicitor.

He said he was going to Ashton and it was only when he did not return by 9pm that Mrs Cotterill raised the alarm.

DC Catherine Edwards said in a statement that she telephoned Mr Cotterill at about 2.30pm on July 25 to tell him a further accusation had been made and he agreed to an interview.

There were only three confirmed sightings after he left his house in Bryony Close, Orrell.

PC Gregory Cook said in a statement that he was on motorway patrol when he and colleague PC Alessandro Giove saw Mr Cotterill on the bridge at junction 27.

The statement said that PC Giove initially spoke to Mr Cotterill. A short time later they returned to junction 27 and Mr Cotterill was still overlooking the motorway.

The officers then received news of an accident and were distracted.

Anthony Wilson was walking home from a friend's house shortly after midnight when he saw a man on the Miles Lane motorway bridge. Before he could act, the man jumped.

A post mortem examination revealed Mr Cotterill died from multiple injuries. Toxicology tests revealed that he had taken prescription drugs but these would not have proved fatal.

Deputy coroner Alan Walsh recorded that Mr Cotterill had taken his own life.

He said: "It is sad that a man of 68 didn't seem to have any problems until the complaint. It clearly troubled him and he was clearly depressed by the trouble he faced."