A GROUNDSMAN at the leading catholic public school Ampleforth College who feared for his job during lockdown took his own life, an inquest heard.

Andrew Cornforth, 50, who had a history of anxiety was concerned bad publicity about the school and students not attending because of the Covid-19 crisis would mean less pupils.

His wife Deborah said he had been assured his job was safe but he became increasingly anxious.

In a statement to the inquest she said: “He was aware there had been bad publicity and was worried.

’He thought there could be changes and it could only be a matter of time. I don’t think he valued himself as much as his friends and colleagues did. He was happy to speak to his doctor and I thought we would get through this. He had never attempted to harm himself before.”

Senior coroner for North Yorkshire Robert Turnbull said Mr Cornforth had been treated for depression in 2014, and more recently been given increased medication to overcome his latest concerns. On April 14 he was found by staff in an outbuilding at the college, He recorded a verdict of suicide.

In 2018 Ampleforth was severely criticised after an extensive investigation into child sexual abuse, accused of prioritising monks over the protection of children.