INQUEST: Former Stevenage FC bar manager charged with rape and sexual assault threw himself off Luton car park roof ahead of trial

An inquest heard on Tuesday how Peter Wainwright threw himself off the top of a multi-storey car par

An inquest heard on Tuesday how Peter Wainwright threw himself off the top of a multi-storey car park on the day of a rape and sexual assault trial. - Credit: Archant

A former Stevenage FC bar manager who had been charged with rape and sexual assault hurled himself to his death just hours before he was due to stand trial.

Peter Wainwright went to the top of a multi-storey car park and, after smoking a cigarette, threw himself over a ledge and fell 60ft to the pavement below.

The 42-year-old died instantly in front of a young woman student waiting for an early morning bus.

An inquest on Tuesday heard Wainwright had been due to go on trial at St Albans Crown Court later that day.

He faced allegations of rape and sexual assault involving three women, one of them from Stevenage.

He had suffered from anxiety and depression and was taking medication to alleviate the symptoms, the coroner was told.

The Stevenage offences dated from 2012.

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After his victim complained to the police, Wainwright was investigated, arrested and eventually charged, and as a condition of his bail was banned from Hertfordshire.

Wainwright, who was living in Norfolk at the time of his death, had a history of heavy drinking and was a loner with few friends. In the past he had expressed suicidal intentions.

After falling to his death in November last year, it was discovered Wainwright had left his watch, wallet, bank cards and cash back in his room at the Luton budget hotel where he had booked a room for the duration of his trial.

The women who had made complaints against Wainwright had been told that they would have to attend court to give evidence against him later that week.

The Stevenage woman said after the hearing: “I feel I can sleep at night now. I feel safe.

“I’ve spent years looking over my shoulder because of him. He had threatened me with death and I feel that I can now begin to move on.

“He was a controlling and violent man, moving my furniture around and rearranging my home to suit him.

“I feel the inquest has given me some sort of closure and I can move on. I feel safe again.”