Drinks binge killed gay policeman

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One of the highest-ranking police officers to "come out" as gay hanged himself after a massive drinks binge, an inquest heard yesterday. David Baff, 33 - the Metropolitan Police's youngest Detective Chief Inspector - drank a potentially lethal amount of alcohol on 4 May at the three- storey house he shared with his partner, fellow policeman James Baillee, then hanged himself from a first-floor bannister.

The coroner, Dr Stephen Chan, said that to most people it would appear an obvious suicide, but Mr Baff had drunk so much he would not have been capable of making a conscious decision to take his life. He recorded an open verdict on Mr Baff, of Mast House Terrace, Millwall, south-east London.

Pathologist Dr Diane Cox told the inquest he had a blood-alcohol level of 260 milligrams. The maximum for driving is 80 milligrams.