A Luton man committed suicide less than a week before he was due to stand trial over the death of a toddler, an inquest heard this morning.
Alistair Wayne Bowen, 36, was found hanged at the Drayton Road home of his father on July 11.
Just five days later he was set to appear at Guildford Crown Court charged with causing or allowing the death of his former partner’s one-year-old girl in Surrey.
Police began probing Bowen and his former partner Kirsty Lee after officers were alerted by staff at St Peter’s Hospital in Chertsey– where Miss Lee’s daughter Cara Lee-Fanus was admitted with serious injuries on Wednesday May 28 2014.
She was later transferred to St George’s Hospital in Tooting but died the following day.
At a court hearing on April 14 magistrates were told that doctors treating the child found burn marks on the back of her head and bruises all over her body.
After a post-mortem established the child’s cause of death as a head injury, detectives from Surrey and Sussex Major Crime Team launched a murder investigation.
An inquest held in Ampthill this morning heard that before committing suicide Mr Bowen left a signed note, in which he apologised to his ex-partner.
It read: “Mum, I love you and I think about my brother and sister.
“Tell Kirsty I am sorry for all the pain I have caused.”
Police officers interviewed Mr Bowen’s father Cecil at the scene.
In a statement which was read out during the inquest, PC Stephen Ball said: “Cecil explained he (Alistair) had been living with him and he had a normal relationship.
“Cecil had no idea he would want to take his own life.”
A pathologist confirmed Mr Bowen’s cause of death as hanging and senior coroner Tom Osborne ruled it as suicide.
Mr Osborne said: “It appears he intended to take his own life and death would have been very quick.
“It was effective in taking his life quickly.”
He added: “It was recently said that suicide is the permanent solution to a temporary problem.
“Obviously something in his life was causing a problem to him and he took this permanent decision.”