A biker accused of rape and assaulting two young boys hanged himself before facing trial, an inquest has heard.
Ian McManoman, 49, of The Old Co-op Building, Barclay Road, Longridge, was on bail, charged with 10 counts of rape, attempted rape and indecent assault, when he was found hanged in the loft of his flat on April 15.
His suicide came less than a week after he first appeared at Blackburn Magistrates’ Court. He was due to appear at Preston Crown Court on April 24.
McManoman, a keen motorcyclist who was a member of a local riding club, had been living with his brother Peter and his wife, but on Friday, April 12, told them he was going to his Longridge home to do some laundry.
When he didn’t return over the weekend, his brother phoned the police.
Peter McManoman told the inquest at Blackburn Coroner’s Court: “I was expecting him to come home for his tea, a Sunday roast, but he had done a similar thing once before when he met his ex-girlfriend and went up to the Lakes. I just thought he’d done the same.”
Mr McManoman said that he spoke to his brother’s former partner on the phone on Monday, April 15, and she said she had a “sixth sense” that something was wrong. He began to worry and called the police.
PC Carl Chew went into McManoman’s top-floor flat and found two folded suicide notes, one addressed to his brother and one to his ex-girlfriend.
He then discovered McManoman’s body in the loft, accessed through a small hatch.
PC Chew told the inquest that McManoman had been “depressed due to an upcoming court case” and had been prescribed mirtazapine.
Toxicology tests showed he had taken an amount equivalent to an “overdose” on the day he died. However, his cause of death was hanging, coroner Michael Singleton confirmed.
McManoman, a builder, was facing one charge of raping a boy under 16 between July 27, 1993, and July 26, 1994, and two charges of attempted rape of the same boy between the same dates.
He also faced six charges of indecent assault against the same boy in the early half of the 90s.
A tenth charge relates to one of indecent assault against another boy, aged under 14, between April 18, 2001 and April 17, 2002.
However, after his suicide, the case was formally closed at Preston Crown Court.
Following the inquest his family, including brothers Peter and Martin McManoman, refused to comment on the rape and assault charges. They described their brother’s death as a “tragic loss”.
Coroner Mr Singleton referred to the alleged offences, saying: “Ian was under a lot of pressure and had a number of concerns and was being prescribed anti-depressants.”
But he added: “There is no requirement of law for me to invade the privacy and dignity of the deceased or his family.”
Summing up the inquest, Mr Singleton said: “There are no circumstances so bad that this is the only solution.
“It is a great shame that the mind has the capability of going to some very dark places.
“Had he overcome the crisis he felt in his own life he could have gone on to have a long and prosperous life.”