Man died from barbecue fumes

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Latest news from the Suffolk Free Press, suffolkfreepress.co.uk, @sfpsudbury on Twitter

A man died after lighting a barbecue in his bedroom on the day he was due to appear in court to face historical child sex allegations.

Martin Knock, 49, was found inside his locked home in The Row in Hartest having failed to arrive at Ipswich Crown Court on February 10 for the start of his trial.

The cause of Mr Knock’s death was unclear until a post-mortem examination showed it was due to carbon monoxide poisoning.

An inquest in Bury St Edmunds heard that officers found pills scattered around the living room of the property and a disposable barbecue in the bedroom.

Police searched the house and found no evidence that anyone else had been in the property and arranged for two dogs to be handed over to an animal charity.

In a written statement, Mr Knock’s sister, Mandy, said: “The death of Martin has been a complete and utter shock, as were the allegations we read about in the local newspaper.”

Mr Knock had been due to stand trial after pleading not guilty to a number of charges of sexual assault involving a girl aged under 13. The alleged offences took place between 2007 and 2010.

The prosecution was formally discontinued following his death.

Recording an open verdict, coroner Dr Peter Dean said it was impossible to know whether Mr Knock had lit the barbecue with the intention of ending his own life, or had been the victim of an accident when he lit it for some other reason.