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Teacher sets himself alight after texting 'I love you' to girl, 8

The 29-year-old had been suspended from his post during an investigation into his “relationship” with an eight-year-old student. An inquest found he set himself on fire moments after texting the girl to say “I love you”.

Image: Milica Sekulic via Creative Commons

A MANCHESTER TEACHER took his own life just moments after texting an eight-year-old student with the words: “I love you and I always will” an inquest has heard.

Neil Wilkes, 29, set himself alight in a tourist spot in Castleton, Derbys, after an investigation into his relationship with the girl was launched. The inquest heard that Wilkes, from Bolton, Greater Manchester, was distraught after being suspended from teaching at the school where he privately tutored the girl.

The 29-year-old has become “something of a father figure” in the girl’s family, Wilkes father told Derbyshire Coroner’s Court. He would accompany them on family outings – but was forced to cut contact during the investigation, reports the Mirror.

Although no charges were brought against him as a result of the investigation, the girl’s family ceased all contact with him, the Express reports.

Deputy North Derbyshire coroner Nigel Anderson said that the proceedings were “a clear trigger which led to depression and ultimately his death”.

The inquest concluded that Wilkes had died by suicide.

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