Welcome to the new Independent website. We hope you enjoy it and we value your feedback. Please contact us here.

SAS hero in suicide over book

AN SAS hero who became a priest after leading the raid in 1980 that ended the Iranian Embassy siege killed himself after being forced to quit the Army, an inquest was told yesterday.

The Rev Frank Collins, 41, a father of four, was found in a fume-filled car with a copy of Tolstoy's War and Peace by his feet. The hearing at Winchester, Hampshire, was told he became "down and depressed" after being forced to leave his role as an army chaplain when he wrote his autobiography last year. He left a suicide message entitled "The Final Chapter" on a laptop computer.

Mr Collins left the SAS to become a vicar in 1989. After being ordained he became chaplain of 23 SAS division in Hereford, and was later made padre of The Parachute Regiment.

But he was told to resign last September after army authorities became upset about his book, Baptism of Fire. His wife, Claire, said leaving the Army had made him deeply upset and he wished he had not written the book. A verdict of suicide was recorded.