Suffolk

Simon Warr false abuse claims worse than fatal diagnoses

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Media captionSimon Warr had performed the role of headmaster in Channel 4's That'll Teach 'Em show

Broadcaster Simon Warr told the BBC the week before his death that dying of cancer would not be "as bad" as being falsely accused of child sex abuse.

The ex-teacher died on Saturday, aged 65, from pancreatic and liver cancer.

He was accused of child sex offences in 2012 but was later cleared.

Speaking to BBC Radio Suffolk in the week before he died, he said the accusations led to the "worst period of my life" and he thought the "stress and anxiety" might have caused his cancers.

Warr, who appeared on Channel 4's That'll Teach 'Em, said it was too late to undergo treatment by the time he was diagnosed on New Year's Eve.

He said it came as a shock because he had led a healthy lifestyle and was "extremely fit" for his age.

Warr said it was unknown for how long he had had the "hidden cancer" but doctors had asked whether he had experienced any recent trauma.

He said the false allegations "caused me years of anxiety and strife, almost drove me to the cusp of suicide".

Warr, who often appeared on BBC Radio Suffolk, said: "When I die, it still won't be as bad as that."

Image caption Simon Warr dressed as a headmaster for an appearance on The One Show in 2008

He added: "I was in a more of a distressed state then than I am now because the difference is when you're accused of child abuse it takes away everything you have worked for; it strips you bare.

"A lot of people don't wait for verdicts; don't wait for outcomes of these things. You get disgusting messages sent to you. It is awful."

Warr was cleared of the charges when a jury returned a not guilty verdict within 30 minutes.

He said the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) then undertook its own investigation, that took until February 2015, followed by a separate investigation by the National College for Teaching and Leadership (NCTL).

Warr, who was cleared by all investigations in July 2016, said he wanted to be remembered as a "figure of fun" and said meeting Dawn French on The One Show, on which he dressed as a headmaster, was one of the highlights of his life.

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