A man tragically took his own life because of the distress caused by a false rape accusation, a coroner has ruled. Ross Bullock was found at his family home alongside a note to his parents that after a ‘year of torment’ he had ‘hit rock bottom’. ‘I’m free from this living hell,’ he had written.
Now, Mr Bullock’s parents say they are planning to take court action against West Mercia police, claiming their son died because police refused to believe that texts on his phone proved his innocence. His accuser is being investigated for perverting the course of justice, after Mr Bullock was released with no further action.
At the inquest into his death, a coroner said the 38-year-old took his own life because of the ‘distress’ caused by the allegation. After his arrest in March 2015, Mr Bullock was questioned by police and bailed for a month despite showing them text messages that strongly suggested he was innocent. Even when officers decided against action, he was warned he could be charged at a later date.
Mr Bullock hanged himself in the garage of the family home and was found by his mother Carole. His father, Ronald, 76, said: ‘Ross would still be alive now if the police had dealt with the allegation sensitively.’ Mrs Bullock, 74, added: ‘The allegation changed Ross as a person. He cut himself off.’ Mr Bullock’s parents may now take civil action against West Mercia Police and are calling for the accuser – who was in a relationship with another man when she and Ross had sex – to be charged.
Police confirmed they are investigating an allegation of perverting the course of justice. Mr Bullock, a forklift truck driver from Redditch, Worcestershire, had sex with his accuser at his workplace. The pair shared dozens of flirtatious texts afterwards incuding one exchange, in which Mr Bullock said: ‘Well I hope u had a good time råd.’ The woman replied: ‘It was alright I suppose!! X.’ The Independent Office for Police Conduct confirmed Mr Bullock Snr had filed a complaint and the case was referred back to West Mercia. Its investigation concluded there was no case to answer.
If you are experiencing suicidal thoughts, if you feel alone or like there is no way out of your situation, please do reach out for help – you are not alone – you will be heard.