A MAN who thought he was being accused of child abuse allegedly gassed himself in his car.
School carer David Anthony Baines, 57, died after being suspended from St Christoph-er's Special School in Wrexham, without being told why.
The morning he was called to see the head, he thought he was being called in to receive a 'pat on the back' for a project he had led.
A Flint inquest has heard it was six months after his death that his family discovered he had been suspended after receiving a series of telephone calls from a 14-year-old boy, an ex-St Christopher's pupil, who was in a secure unit.
The unit, which monitors and records inmate telephone calls, had alerted Wrexham council social services about the calls and they convened a multi-disciplinary meeting - which included the police who checked Mr Baines' details on the national police computer.
One of the reasons for his suspension was Mr Baines' 'previous convictions' - the police computer wrongly gave him a criminal record.
It turned out, said North East Wales coroner John Hughes, that the record belonged to someone of the same name and date of birth, but born in a different part of the country.
It was not the first time the error had been made about Mr Baines having a criminal re-cord.
Another reason was 'the use of code in the conversation' - this turned out to be Mr Baines' use of his limited knowledge of Welsh words, said Mr Hughes, which he threw into the conversation.
A third reason was the use of inappropriate language - Mr Baines' family said he would often talk to children at 'their own level' which was why he was so good at communicating with them.
The final reason was breach of confidentiality - Mr Baines had referred to other pupils at the school who were asking after the boy in the secure unit.
Most of the telephone conversations had been taken with Mrs Baines in the room with her husband and Mr Baines was aware they were all recorded.
Mr Baines, however, had been escorted out of school premises on October 17, 2003, believing there was a police investigation and his suspension was nothing to do with school.
In fact there was no police investigation.
After an agonising night trying to puzzle out why he had been suspended, unable to contact his union, Mr Baines told his wife he would sleep on the settee, but the next morning she discovered a note on the garage door saying 'Jackie, don't come in, call the police'.
After his wife pulled his body from their fume-filled car she found a note from her husband in the house.
It read: 'Jackie, I'm sorry it's got to be this way, I just cannot face another day like today, not knowing what or who. Tell Lee and Becky (son and daughter-in-law) and mam I love them, ask Rob to clear my name, whatever it is. PS I'll bet it's.......'
He then names a boy the couple fostered and who Mr Baines had to report for a misdemeanour and was subsequently placed in a detention centre.
Mrs Jacqueline Baines, of Briarswood, Rhosrobin, said if her husband had been told why he was being suspended and it was not about abuse allegations he would be alive today.
His son Lee, of Johnstown, said when he met police with
his mother she asked what were the allegations against his father.
Police replied: 'That's the tragic thing, there were no allegations.'
'All the time my mother was crying and clinging to me saying 'what a waste',' said Mr Baines.
He had listened to the tapes of the telephone conversations between the father and the boy and there was nothing inappropriate or unusual.
He understood if the authorities needed to look at confidentiality issues, but it was not enough to suspend his father.
Best friend Peter Clutton, of Barrack Field, Wrexham, told how Mr Baines arrived at his door on the Friday night and his first words were: 'I'm going to commit suicide.'
Other family members all described how Mr Baines was a person people turned to for help - but when he needed help the system failed him.
A letter of suspension from the school, which gave a helpline telephone number, arrived the morning he died. The family rang the number but discovered it was not manned at weekends.
At the time of going to press the inquest was proceeding and is expected to end today (Thursday).