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Teacher was struck by train

PUBLISHED: 09:00 11 September 2009 | UPDATED: 08:30 01 August 2010

A FORMER Loddon teacher who had been arrested in connection with a serious offence died after being struck by a train, an inquest heard, yesterday.

The body of Paul Powell, 45, who was a headteacher at Loddon Junior School, was discovered down an embankment near to the train tracks at the Old Cattle Market, in Norwich, in May.

A FORMER Loddon teacher who had been arrested in connection with a serious offence died after being struck by a train, an inquest heard, yesterday.

The body of Paul Powell, 45, who was a headteacher at Loddon Junior School, was discovered down an embankment near to the train tracks at the Old Cattle Market, in Norwich, in May.

A post mortem examination revealed that Mr Powell died as a result of chest and pelvic injuries in keeping with a significant impact on the right side of the body.

A jury inquest at the Assembly House, in Norwich, heard from Greater Norfolk Coroner William Armstrong that Mr Powell had been subject to a police investigation into a “serious offence” on November 20 last year, and had been arrested on February 10 and was due to answer police bail on March 5.

“It's not of the function of the inquest to make any further comment on the allegations made about Mr Powell,” said Mr Armstrong.

Mr Powell, who lived on a house boat at Sea Lake Marina, in Oulton Broad, was arrested on suspicion of sexually assaulting a child under the age of 13. He left the Loddon Junior School following an investigation into a complaint made about him.

The inquest heard that Mr Powell failed to appear at Bethel Street Police Station on May 5 but would have been charged in connection with the offence as the Crown Prosecution Service believed they had sufficient evidence.

Mr Powell's body was found by Jamie Harrison, an overhead lineman for Network Rail.

“At first I believed it to be some kind of mannequin from a shop window, but on second glance realised it was a human body,” said Mr Harrison. He was thanked at the inquest for finding Mr Powell by his mother Pauline.

The inquest heard how Mr Powell, a student at the International Boat Building College, in Oulton Broad, had become “disillusioned” with teaching and planned to renovate his boat to take it abroad.

After Mr Powell failed to answer bail PC Robert Meen visited the house boat in Oulton Broad to carry out a welfare visit. The officer said he was “overcome by the smell of fumes of fuel” from inside the boat in which he discovered a hose pipe connected to the vessel's exhaust. Although he found no-one on board PC Meen did find a stack of envelopes with a handwritten note on top penned by Mr Powell which “apologised for the distress he had caused by his actions”.

The jury returned a verdict of suicide while Mr Powell was in a disturbed state of mind.

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