Canon, a Catholic priest According to the coroner, Michael McCoy committed suicide after learning that he was being investigated by police for a “historic claim.”

A Catholic priest committed suicide days after discovering that he was being investigated by police for a ‘historic allegation,’ according to a coroner.

Canon Michael McCoy, 57, was discovered dead in his Newcastle apartment on April 10 of last year.

An inquest heard that an incident involving Mr McCoy had been reported to Northumbria Police a week before, on April 3. A day later, the complainant provided a “very brief summary.”

On April 6, officers contacted Mr McCoy, the Dean of St Mary’s Cathedral in Newcastle, and informed him that a historic complaint had been made against him, and that he would be invited for a voluntary interview at some point.

Mr McCoy was ‘upset,’ according to Detective Sergeant Julie Beattie of Northumbria Police’s child and adult protection section, but he said he will seek assistance from friends and colleagues.

Mr McCoy willingly resigned from his ministry at the cathedral and moved into an Airbnb, according to the inquest at Newcastle Coroner’s Court.

Angela Richardson, the Diocese of Hexham and Newcastle’s safeguarding coordinator, claimed she spoke with him after the police arrived.

‘He was extremely scared, upset, and shocked following the police visit and the charges that had been made,’ she told the inquest.

‘Normally in these circumstances, it is improper for the priest to remain in that setting,’ Ms Richardson said she promised Mr McCoy the diocese would look for alternate housing for him.

Mr McCoy called her on April 8 to say he ‘couldn’t stay in the cathedral any longer,’ which she stated did not need to happen in the following days.

‘He felt like everyone knew, and it was a hopeless situation,’ Ms Richardson said.

‘He was in the cathedral but couldn’t participate in ministry, which he found unpleasant and didn’t think he could stay.’

Mr McCoy, according to the inquiry, got his own Airbnb but ‘wasn’t happy there’ and was looking for alternative housing before he died.

‘I recommended he return to the cathedral in the interim, or if he was genuinely uncomfortable, the diocese could finance hotel accommodation,’ Ms Richardson added.

‘He stated he’d spend the night there.’ He thought he needed to find his own housing and have some control over his living situation.’

On April 10, a man went to Mr McCoy’s flat ‘as part of the providing of support for him,’ according to the inquest, and became concerned when he didn’t get a response.

The concierge service assisted him in gaining entrance to Mr McCoy’s flat, where he was discovered dead.

Mr McCoy had not left a letter, and his phone and tablet had been factory reset, with nothing retrievable, according to Ms Beattie.

Complaints about Mr McCoy were presented in 2007 and 2010, according to Ms Richardson, but the nature of the concerns was not divulged.

Following Mr McCoy’s death, a professional standards inquiry by Northumbria Police ‘found no concerns and no lost opportunities to safeguard him further,’ according to the inquest.

There was nothing ‘that could or should have been done differently’ to avoid Mr McCoy’s death, according to a diocese review, and there were no concerns at the time that he was a risk to himself.

He had an anxiety issue, but no history of suicide ideation or self-harm, according to his medical documents.

Mr McCoy ‘started his death in relation with a historic allegation against him,’ according to Senior Coroner Karen Dilks.

A suicide conclusion was recorded.

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