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Manchester Evening News
By Chris Jones
A man took his own life the day before he was due in court charged with raping a child and a string of other serious sex offences, an inquest was told. Gary Gibbons, 47, was found dead by his mother at around 5am on February 4 last year in the home they shared in Fold Gardens, Spotland, after taking an overdose of anti-depressants.
The following day he was due at Bolton Crown Court faced with one charge of attempted rape, 28 charges of indecent assault, eight counts of rape and four counts of raping a child.
It was the second time Mr Gibbons had tried to kill himself, an inquest at Rochdale magistrates court heard.
He was admitted to hospital on January 16 last year after taking an overdose of pills – two days before he was due at court to face the same charges.
Despite taking a large quantity of sleeping tablets, on this occasion medics were able to save his life.
Rochdale Coroner’s Court heard that Mr Gibbons had been unable to work since 2002 after suffering a back injury.
He was separated from his wife and had moved out of their home in Norton Road, Syke.
Mr Gibbons had been due to stand trial for indecent assault charges dating back to the 1990s at Bolton Crown Court in January 2010.
But the case had to be adjourned after he was admitted to hospital following the first overdose.
He was also due to stand trial accused of one count of historic rape dating back to the 1990s and eight counts of rape and four counts of raping a child which took place in the 2000s.
Coroner Simon Nelson said the court case had put a great deal of strain on Mr Gibbons, who had also tried to take his own life in 2008.
Mr Nelson added: “He had a history of self harm and more pertinently a recent history of self harm.
“There was also the pending appearance before a court, which to put it mildly, would have induced a great deal of anxiety and stress on his part.”
Mr Nelson concluded that Mr Gibbons has taken his own life.
A spokesman for the Crown Prosecution Service said the case against Mr Gibbons was discontinued on March 4 last year after his death.