Ex-Mayor found hanging after sexual revelations
8:22am Thursday 29th July 2010
A FORMER town mayor who set up a camera to film young girls in the shower hanged himself after revelations of the incident became “too much for him”, an inquest was told.
Paul Thomas stood down from his position as Mayor of Upton-upon-Severn in February after he was arrested on suspicion of committing a voyeuristic act.
His body was found hanging from a tree at the Ham floodplain, near Upton, by a dog walker on Sunday, April 18.
Stourport Coroner’s Court heard how the 55-year-old lost his job as a sales director when the allegations were made public in March which resulted in “financial concerns”.
A post-mortem examination revealed Mr Thomas, of London Lane, Upton, had no pre-exisiting health problems or alcohol in his system at the time of death. Therapeutic levels of the anti-depressant drug Citalopram were found.
The inquest heard how the police investigation was carried out by Detective Constable Julie Slater.
DC Slater said Mr Thomas admitted setting up a video camera to film girls in the shower and was bailed until May pending further enquiries.
DC Slater said Mr Thomas became depressed following his arrest and resigned from his position as Mayor citing “personal reasons”.
The inquest was told how Mr Thomas was in close contact with the community mental health team in Malvern.
DC Slater said depression was “over taking him”.
Mr Thomas’ body was formally identified by his brother who said he had been in an increasingly depressed state in the days before his death.
Worcestershire Coroner Geraint Williams said numerous notes were left in an brief case which was found close to his body.
In reaching his conclusion, Mr Williams said: “He was a man who had allegedly committed sexual offences. He was arrested, interviewed and bailed over these allegations.
“As a result he lost his employment and his political position and he became depressed.
“He wrote a number of letters to his family confirming what he had done indicating his distress and apologise for what he had done. He was very specific about letting them down.
“At some stage matters became too much for him and he purchased a rope and a step ladder. He then went to the Ham flood plain in Upton and hanged himself from a tree.”
The coroner returned a verdict that Mr Thomas killed himself.
The inquest heard how Mr Thomas was born in Evesham and married his first wife Valerie in the mid 1970s. They had two children together before divorcing. He married Beverley Richardson, in 2006.