AN INQUEST into the death of a trainee teacher who went missing last year has drawn a conclusion of suicide.

The body of Nicholas Harper, 50, was discovered in a densely forested area near Helmsley, on September 7, 2019, after having been reported missing in February, 2019.

An inquest held in Northallerton yesterday (Thursday), heard that Mr Harper was discovered by walkers in Cowhouse Bank, deep in woodland off the footpath.

Mr Harper’s car had been discovered at Cowhouse Bank car park in April, however his body was not found at the time.

Mr Harper, who disappeared after leaving his home in Pickering in February, had been working on a placement at York's Archbishop Holgate’s School’s science department.

Assistant coroner for North Yorkshire, Jonathan Heath, heard walkers came across Mr Harper’s body, after seeing something in the trees.

Walkers contacted police, who were assisted by Cleveland Mountain Rescue Team in recovering Mr Harper’s body.

A search of his rucksack uncovered an ID card with his name for the school he had been working at.

He was later formally identified at post mortem with his dental records.

His widow Rachael Harper said nothing had been out of the ordinary on the day Mr Harper disappeared.

“One of the children had been ill during the night and that morning it was just the usual family rush of getting everyone out of the door to school and work,” she said.

“Nicholas was a data analyst before he was made redundant and that gave him the push to train as a teacher, which is something he had always wanted to do,” she said.

“He was coming to the end of his placement in York and was finding the training quite challenging with lots of work and long hours and was putting a lot of pressure on himself.”

The inquest heard Mr Harper had no history of depression or mental illness, and had not spoken about feeling low or struggling.

Mrs Harper added: “Nick had always wanted to be a teacher and loved sharing what he knew. He was working long hours and was tired, but I didn’t know he was feeling so affected by the course.”

  • If you or someone you know needs the help of Samaritans they can be contacted on 116 123 or go online