A SCHOOL caretaker who recognised a newspaper photo of a sex attacker as the man who abused him as a child killed himself after giving evidence in court, an inquest heard today.

Jeff Harris lived with aftermath of the abuse by his neighbour Terry Haynes – known as Rev. Haynes – for more than 40 years before seeing a mugshot of a convicted paedophile and realising he was the man who molested him.

Mr Harris, 56 , of Radley, contacted the police and Haynes, already in prison for previous sex assaults, was charged with new offences.

However, giving evidence in crown court about what happened to him as a child caused him to spiral into depression and he hanged himself at home in Sycamore Crescent three months later.

Oxford Coroner's Court heard yesterday that he was not given the support even a child victim would have received, leading the coroner to criticise the crown court system.

Mr Harris, a caretaker at St Swithun's school in Kennington, was found hanged by his wife Elaine when she returned from work on February 2. She also discovered a note saying simply: “I’m so sorry.”

Haynes, formerly of Matthews Way, Wootton, was sentenced to 15 years in prison in 2014 after he was found guilty at Oxford Crown Court of 12 counts of rape, 11 counts of indecent assault and one attempted rape.

Among his victims was his own daughter Teresa Haynes.

When Mr Harris saw reports of that case, he contacted police and, following a trial at Reading Crown Court in 2017, Haynes was convicted of a further one count of gross indecency with a boy and eight counts of indecent assault with a boy.

Haynes was handed a further six years in prison to run consecutively with the time he was already serving.

However, the inquest heard this court case sent Mr Harris into a downward spiral of depression – from which he had previously suffered – and three months later, he hanged himself.

Claire Serle, a manager at St Swithun's school, told the inquest about the effect she saw the case have on him.

She said: “He was made to stand in the witness box and was made out to be liar, the barrister ripped him to pieces. Jeff said that if he was a child he would have had support, but as he was an adult he did not get this.

“His wife knew but I don’t know if she knew everything. I think the court case was the start of the decline.

“He was having sessions with a counsellor and these went okay, but he and the counsellor acknowledged that it would take a while to get better.”

Ms Serle was due to call Mr Harris the day he killed himself but the first time she rang he said it was not a good time and then after that she could not get through to him until a paramedic answered later that afternoon.

His wife of 28 years, giving evidence in a statement, said: “He had been sent off work for 21 days due to depression. He was in the process of getting help but had been told it would take longer than five to six weeks.

“I returned home at 2pm and when I tried the front door it was locked, so I went around the back to the spare key.”

Ms Harris then described how she saw her husband hanging in the house.

Oxfordshire assistant coroner Rosamund Rhodes-Kemp said it was a shame that the court process did not offer Mr Harris more support.

She said: "It is very regrettable that with the court process, someone in this position is not supported. Going through these events, even if not being cross-examined, of course makes you relive them.

"I am very sorry indeed he was not offered any support. I think it has raised a significant issue that someone with this issue was left without support."

The coroner gave a conclusion of suicide by hanging.