A 26-year-old man took his own life after he was falsely accused of sexual assault, despite being acquitted of at a trial.
On June 6 2020, Grant Townsend was discovered by his mother in the house they shared in Starella Grove, after struggling with mental health issues for a number of years.
An inquest at Hull Coroner’s Court concluded that Townsend took his own life as he struggled to come to terms with a number of incidents since the age of 10, including that of the rape allegation made against him.
His mother, Keely Gillbey, said that her son believed “the title of rapist would never go away” even if the court found him innocent.
She added that her son “found it difficult to leave the house” after the accusations were made, but continued to assure his mother that he was alright and didn’t need any support.
Gillbey added that Townsend “found it difficult to understand and cope with knowing what his mum had been through.”
She later found a suicide note in his room where “he claimed his innocence,” but the pair never talked about it.
“He was found not guilty – it took them less than 10 minutes for all of them to come back with a not guilty verdict,” she added.
“But it affected Grant in a big, big way, especially knowing what I had gone through as a child. To be accused of that affected him big time, it really did. I watched him deteriorate.”
“He was a bit of a loveable rogue. To look at him, to meet him, you wouldn’t know that anything was wrong,” his mother said as she remember her son.
“He always wore a smile when you’d see him, he was always up for a laugh, loved being around his mates and his mates loved him being around them. He was a Jack the lad, all the girls liked him – he was a very good looking lad. But obviously he was suffering deeply within.”
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