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Paedophile took his life in Redruth when past caught up

By West Briton  |  Posted: January 24, 2013

The house in Foundry Row where Mr Burton was found hanged.

The house in Foundry Row where Mr Burton was found hanged.

A CONVICTED paedophile took his own life when his girlfriend ended their short-term relationship after learning about his past from the police.

Peter Roy Burton, 49, hanged himself at a cottage that was being renovated in Foundry Row, Redruth.

His body was found on October 27, 2010, and he was pronounced dead at the scene.

Carol Tompkin told an inquest in Truro that she met Mr Burton via internet dating in August 2010. They met and she reluctantly embarked on a relationship, but insisted on returning to a friendship early in October.

She said: "He did divulge he had been investigated for a sexual offence, which was untrue and he was cleared."

But Mr Burton had been convicted of two counts of indecent assault against a 14-year-old girl in Kent in 2002. On release from prison in 2003, he was put on the sex offenders' register for ten years, and moved to Cornwall.

On October 26, 2010, police, concerned that Ms Tompkin had a juvenile daughter, told her he was on the register.

"I felt sick by what I'd heard," said Ms Tompkin.

Jonathan Scott, from the police public protection unit at Barncoose, told the inquest the force had previously made the same disclosure. Officers had also warned him about his photographic hobby, including taking pictures where children were present.

Mr Scott said Ms Tompkin told him and his colleague she had accepted Mr Burton's claim about a false allegation.

He said: "I made it clear it was the view of police and social services that he had committed these offences." He then told Mr Burton of the disclosure.

Builder Jasper Long was working with colleague Ben Martin in the cottage on October 26 until about 5pm and said: "Peter said the police had to tell Carol about the allegations because she had children. He was outraged.

"He seemed fearful that Carol would divulge what the police had told her to other people. He was anxious for us to leave the site. He clearly had some issues.

"He had said a few things like, 'I can't cope', 'I'm going to end my life'.

"He didn't seem to mean it, otherwise we would have stayed on. He was happy with life, but it did all come crashing down on that day. He lived in fear of his friends finding out about something."

Coroner Emma Carlyon said circumstances, including the presence of a number of suicide notes, led her to conclude he deliberately took his own life.

She added: "There is no evidence that the police acted inappropriately."

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