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Talented teacher found hanged.

Byline: By Rhodri Phillips

A popular teacher, actor and musician committed suicide after years of depression, an inquest heard yesterday.

Dave Hollingworth, 52, was found hanged at his home in William Street, South Gosforth, Newcastle, at 8.30pm on December 7 last year.

The inquest in Newcastle heard he had suffered from depression for 20 years and had not taken his medication in the days leading up to his death.

He had tried to commit suicide earlier that same day and the month previously ( but on both occasions had told health workers he did not want to go to hospital and would not attempt to kill himself again.

Mr Hollingworth, who was single and lived alone, worked at International House in Newcastle for 16 years, teaching English to foreign students, executives and trainees.

He was a talented actor and playwright, and his play Elizabeth's Will about the life and times of Queen Elizabeth I will be shown at the Queen's Hall in Hexham next week.

Last summer he toured with the Cloud Nine Theatre Company performing a play called Off The Wall at small venues along the length of Hadrian's Wall.

Cloud Nine's artistic director Peter Mortimer said last night: "He was a very quiet, private person. He was gentle and showed no malice. He was incredibly talented and reliable which is a rare mix. He will be greatly missed."

Consultant psychiatrist John Hughes said at yesterday's inquest Mr Hollingworth had been referred to him last November.

He said: "On the day preceding, he had made a ligature round his neck and made an attempt on his life. When I saw him he was hopeful things were going to get better.

"He was strongly against going to hospital. If I was able to travel back I would but there was the balance between the risk he would harm himself and the risk of forcing him into hospital."

Health workers arranged to call at Mr Hollingworth's home on the evening of December 7, after he had tried to commit suicide earlier that same day.

When they arrived his door was locked but they could see through his letter box he was hanging by a belt from the banister.

Coroner David Mitford said: "There is clearly a history of his mental health being in difficulty for some time. There were episodes of deep depression and episodes when he was a great deal better. He may have recovered from this episode but not from the depression in the long term.

"I have to take the view that he took his own life. He must have considered what he was doing. I can suggest the balance of his mind was disturbed and that may be the explanation."

Verdict: Suicide.
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Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Date:Apr 22, 2005
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