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Popular hairdresser never got over ‘relentless’ abuse at notorious school, inquest hears

PUBLISHED: 17:30 31 August 2018 | UPDATED: 09:51 01 September 2018

Hairdresser Darren Wright, who died at Salonfx in Attleborough. Picture: DARREN WRIGHT'S FAMILY

Hairdresser Darren Wright, who died at Salonfx in Attleborough. Picture: DARREN WRIGHT'S FAMILY

Archant

A popular Attleborough hairdresser who took his own life had never fully recovered from the abuse he experienced while he was a pupil at a notorious school, an inquest heard.

Darren Wright, 50, was found at his Salonfx premises in Edenside Drive, Attleborough at 9pm on April 17.

A Norwich inquest heard he suffered mental health difficulties and fought drug and alcohol addiction since his early 20s, which his partner believed were caused by sexual and physical abuse while a pupil at St George’s boarding school, which was in Wicklewood before moving to Great Finborough in Suffolk.

The inquest heard how on April 17 Mr Wright was found in his salon by his partner Rachel Bartholomew who, finding the door was locked, called her sons, who forced entry and performed CPR on Mr Wright while awaiting the emergency services.

The inquest heard from members of Mr Wright’s family, emergency services which attended on April 17 and health professionals involved in Mr Wright’s mental health treatment.

In her evidence, Ms Bartholomew said Mr Wright attended St George’s School and had experienced “sexual and physical abuse by someone [at the school] who was later convicted”. She said Mr Wright had confided in her and despite his struggles had always been “extremely loving, caring and non-judgemental”.

“Given his horrendous and traumatic start in life, I am grateful for the seven years we spent together. We had a great life together and share many happy memories.

“I am very aware of why he took his own life and due to the relentless abuse he suffered during his own life I hope he is now at peace,” she said.

A statement read on behalf of Dr Kearney, a therapist Mr Wright went to for support, said Mr Wright had originally sought treatment because he wanted to “get rid of horrible memories”. Dr Kearney said Mr Wright had been “deeply affected by childhood abuse” but “despite this he was able to show great courage”.

Yvonne Blake, area coroner, gave a conclusion of suicide, saying it was clear from the several notes Mr Wright had left that he had intended to take his own life.

■ Call Samaritans for free, any time on 116 123 or email: jo@samaritans.org

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