Abuse inquiry suicide

The owner of a care home who killed himself hours before he was to be charged with abusing mentally handicapped young people, left a note placing his faith in God and the life afterlife, an inquest at Windsor, Berkshire, was told yesterday.

Gordon Rowe, 61, was found slumped in a car on a road known as Devil's Highway. A post-mortem examination revealed that he died of carbon monoxide poisoning.

A 19-month investigation into allegations of sexual and physical abuse at his Longcare homes at Stoke Green House and Stoke Place Mansion House, Stoke Poges, Buckinghamshire, was about to conclude. A police source said Mr Rowe would have been charged.

The East Berkshire coroner, Robert Wilson, who heard that he left a seven-page letter to his two sons and second wife, recorded a verdict of suicide.

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