Gay teacher killed himself after homophobic stalker 'terrorised' him

A teacher took his own life after being subjected to horrific homophobic abuse from a stalker, an inquest has heard.

Simon Cremen, 38, was repeatedly targeted and threatened by Darren Capers in the weeks before a friend found him dead on June 6 2021.

At an inquest held in Grimsby Town Hall on Friday, Coroner Paul Smith recorded the formal cause of death as suicide, GrimsbyLive reported.

Capers, 39, was sentenced to four years in prison last December after he admitted to stalking Simon, causing serious harm or distress, from May 2021.

Hull Crown Court heard that Capers, from Grimsby, had told Simon he would bomb his house and smash his windows, while a video showed him shouting appalling insults.

Judge John Thackray KC told Capers: ‘You were quite literally terrorising him and, understandably, your actions had a profound effect upon him.

‘You caused distress and misery to your victim in the final days and weeks of his life.’

At the inquest, Simon’s mother Sandra said she believed her son would not have died if the campaign of abuse had not taken place.

Simon had started a job as a maths teacher at Grimsby’s John Whitgift Academy in 2019, after leaving a banking job with Halifax where he had raised thousands for LGBTQ+ causes through his role.

Sandra told GrimsbyLive: ‘He loved his job and if any student had any problems they’d go to Simon for help.’

He struggled with isolation during the pandemic, and the harassment by Capers began after he returned to work.

In his conclusion to the inquest, Mr Smith said: ‘Desperation engulfed him [Simon].

‘This vile, homophobic abuse and behaviour, which appeared to be escalating, I’ve no doubt gave him concerns.’

Thanking Simon’s family and friends for attending, he added: ‘I’ve no doubt Simon will live long in your thoughts and he will be missed forever by you all.’

Need help?

The NHS recommends Drinkline, the national alcohol helpline. If you’re worried about your own or someone else’s drinking, there is a free helpline you can call in complete confidence. Call 0300 123 1110 (weekdays 9am to 8pm, weekends 11am to 4pm).

Or you can use Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), a free self-help group with a 12-step programme.

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