A FORMER vicar accused of committing historic sex offences killed himself on the day he was due to appear in court after being ‘in meltdown’ over the case.

Trevor Devamanikkam, 70, who had bipolar disorder, was found with multiple stab wounds and cuts at his Witney home on June 6 after he failed to attend the hearing.

An inquest into his death took place today at Oxford Coroner's Court.

Concerns were first raised by a close friend on June 5, who described the retired Church of England vicar as being in 'meltdown' over his upcoming court case.

Development manager at Otters Court, Julianne Baker, had also received a note from him the day before his death indicating he was suicidal but when asked said he had 'changed his mind'.

But psychiatrist Dr Megan Theodoulou said his mental health team had not known about the contents of the note or the charges and he had appeared stable during a visit later that day, adding: "With hindsight, that information may have impacted how we conducted his care."

Mr Devamanikkam was facing six charges relating to sexual assaults alleged to have taken place between March 1984 and April 1985, while a vicar in Bradford.

A note by Mr Devamanikkam was found by officers that said he was 'so sorry for the distress his death would cause' but that he 'couldn't face going through it all' in relation to the trial.

Assistant coroner for Oxfordshire, Rosamund Rhodes-Kemp, said his mental health had deteriorated due to the upcoming trial, causing a 'huge amount' of anxiety, and recorded death by suicide.

Following the inquest, Mr Devamanikkam's alleged victim, known only as Michael, said: "After a two-year police investigation and getting myself ready to give evidence at trial, it was terrible to find out there would be no justice.

"The last thing I wanted though was for someone to die and my thoughts are with his family and friends."