Head in bullying case took overdose

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A headmaster accused of bullying by his staff has been hospitalised after taking a tablets and alcohol overdose.

Alan Jackson, headmaster at Russell Scott primary school in Denton, Greater Manchester, was found wandering in a confused state nearly 100 miles away in Cumbria, police said.

Mr Jackson, who is also a magistrate at Tameside, had been under investigation by his local education authority after six members of staff made formal complaints accusing him of bullying, intimidation, threatening behaviour and assault.

The investigation ended and no action was taken after a meeting between Tameside education director Tony Webster and the school's board of governors last Tuesday.

Police were alerted by Mr Jackson's partner, Christine Mason, after he disappeared from his home in Audenshaw, Greater Manchester, last Thursday.

Detectives in Cumbria, where Mr Jackson's mother lives, were alerted by Greater Manchester police. Mr Jackson, 49, was found hours later wandering in a confused state by a member of the public in the Scale Hill area of Loweswater, near Whitehaven, said a Cumbria police spokesman.

Mr Jackson was taken to West Cumberland Hospital in Whitehaven suffering the effects of an overdose of tablets and alcohol, the spokesman said.

His condition was never thought to be life-threatening but he was kept in by doctors over the weekend. He returned home yesterday.

The school was closed yesterday for the half-term holiday. Martin Wareing, chairman of the school's board of governors, said staff were very upset at the news about Mr Jackson.

He made no comment about when and if Mr Jackson would be returning to the school, but the headmaster was understood to be resting at home while he considered his future.