College boss threw himself off cliffs

A SOUTH Yorkshire college vice-principal threw himself off cliffs after becoming depressed about having HIV, an inquest heard.

Kevin Goodinson, aged 35, of Winthorpe Court, Wickersley Road, Rotherham, who scooped more than 2,000 on TV's Weakest Link in 2005, had been admitted to hospital with depression and had also taken an overdose weeks before his death.

The 35-year-old Doncaster College vice-principal then went missing from his home. He phoned his worried partner and family from a service station hotel, reassuring them he was safe, but a day later he failed to meet up with his sister as arranged and police found his body at the bottom of sheer 100ft cliffs in Whitby, North Yorkshire.

His car was parked above the spot where he was found on June 20, an inquest in Scarborough heard.

His devastated sister Janet said in a statement that Kevin had been diagnosed as HIV positive and had also suffered a serious bout of pneumonia months before his death.He had also contracted an infection after a nose operation.

She said: "Kevin was depressed and took an overdose of Temazepam in May and spent two weeks in hospital. He was severely depressed and kept saying that there was no way out, things were never going to get better.

"He constantly needed reassurances but when he left hospital he did seem to get better."

But on June 19 Kevin disappeared and worried Janet called police before her troubled brother called to tell her he was staying in a hotel at Woodall Services. Janet said: "He sounded calm and said he was at a hotel but wouldn't say where.

"He agreed to meet me the next day but when he failed to turn up we called the police again."

Police investigating Kevin's death discovered he had headed to the coast and clambered over a fence to reach the edge of cliffs. They also found notes in his hotel room.

Recording a verdict of suicide, Coroner Michael Oakley said: "Kevin was certainly suffering from depression and was clearly concerned about the condition from which he suffered, and whether he would make a recovery from it.

"He had previously taken an overdose and was behaving in a strange manner."

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