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Letters from abuser taunted ex-teacher

Thursday, September 25, 2008 - 15:08

HAUNTED by the sexual abuse he suffered as a teenager and by letters and photographs sent by one of his abusers, a 56-year-old man hanged himself, an inquest was told.
Retired head of PE at Sandown High School Trevor Wray received the letters from his abuser, now in his 70s, after moving with his Chale Primary School headteacher wife, Trish, to their new home in Brighstone, the inquest was told.
Simon Wray said he discovered his brother’s body hanging in the hallway of their mother’s home in St George’s Lane, Newport, while she was in residential care.
Mr Wray, from Upper Lane, Brighstone, had gone to the mainland for psychiatric counselling before he took his life.
His widow catalogued complaints about Mr Wray’s inability to get appropriate psychiatric counselling, saying he was forced instead to seek private help on the mainland while suffering acute anxiety.
Mrs Wray said full medical records had been withheld by the primary care trust (PCT) and coroner Andrew Bradley said he shared her acute concern over that.
After the inquest, a statement from the PCT said the trust apologised to Mrs Wray and her family for not providing all information at the time of their request.
“It was not our intention to deliberately withold information. However, at that time an administrative error meant we were not aware of the particular letter Mrs Wray referred to.
“We have now identified the information outstanding and have made it available to Mrs Wray.”
Mrs Wray said her husband was forced to retire from his job because of increasing pain from an arthritic knee as a result of rugby injuries.
After he first spoke to her about the abuse he suffered from a family friend and another man, it was like “opening a Pandora’s box of emotion,” she said.
“The summer of 2006 was the last happy time. Before that he had managed to suppress details of the abuse.”
He wouldn’t stay alone in their Brighstone home because it reminded him of where he had been abused.
He suffered extreme anxiety and the medication badly affected his health, she said.
The coroner said: “I get the impression he was going down a tube from which he couldn’t escape. Mental health services with scarce resources were clearly not sufficient for his needs.”
He recorded a suicide verdict.
• After the inquest, Mrs Wray appealed to police to continue to investigate the abuse her husband had revealed to her. Full story in the Friday, September 26, County Press.

 


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