Accused man found hanged

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First published in News
Last updated

A RETIRED RAF engineer facing serious criminal charges hanged himself in his garage the day after his wife ordered him out of their family home, an inquest heard.

Trevor Stiles became suicidal after being arrested last October and accused of two counts of attempted rape of a girl under the age of 13 years and one count of a sex assault on a woman.

The grandfather was also facing marital problems, having had affairs over the years and having been asked to move out on November 13 last year, his 69th birthday.

He was found hanging by his sister-in-law, despite him leaving her several notes warning her not to go into the garage where he died. A number of suicide notes addressed to various family members were found in the garage, along with photographs and his mobile phone, which was playing music.

Recording a verdict of suicide, Coroner David Coward said at the inquest in Salisbury on Wednesday: “I am sure that Mr Stiles’ death occurred as a result of a deliberate act by him and in doing so he intended that the consequence would be his own death.”

Friends and family noticed a change in father-of-three Mr Stiles’ mood following his arrest in October 2013.

Detective Sergeant Thomas Straker, who attended the inquest, said they were serious allegations but would not reveal their nature.

“Mr Stiles was under investigation for a very serious offence and was on police bail,” said DS Straker. “He was facing further allegations to be put to him which he was unaware of. It was looking like it was going to be a charge and trial.”

After learning of the allegations the former RAF ground engineer was said to be in a low mood and depressed and even expressed a wish to end his life.

“I knew this would have a massive impact on him,” his daughter Melanie Kingsman said in evidence read to the inquest.

“He would have been mortified at being arrested for anything, let alone such a serious offence.

“When he was released on bail I had concerns he would be a suicide risk.”

After his arrest, Jayne Flatt, Mr Stiles’ sister-in-law and a close friend, began to take care of him, visiting him on a daily basis in the last weeks of his life.

She said from the day of his arrest Mr Stiles, who served in the RAF for 23 years, went from being fit and active to ‘withdrawn and disinterested in everything around him’.

The inquest heard that Mr Stiles had twice previously tried to kill himself, both times when his marriage was in difficulty.

By the time of his 69th birthday on November 13 last year Mr Stiles was frail from not eating and losing weight. That day he met with his estranged wife, who told him she wanted to move back home and for him to leave.

Mrs Flatt took him home and spent some of the evening with him before leaving him alone.

She returned at around 8.30am the next day and found no trace of Mr Stiles in the house.

She then noticed an A4 piece of paper stuck on the door to the utility room which said: “Jayne if you’re on your own don’t go into the garage.”

“I opened the door and saw Trevor,” said Mrs Flatt. “I could see his face and it was clear to me that he was gone.”

Mr Stiles was declared dead at the scene. The cause of death was given as compression of the neck by ligature.

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