Page last updated at 13:20 GMT, Tuesday, 1 December 2009

Child porn arrest firefighter died in surf accident

Richard Carrington
Richard Carrington had been with the fire service since 1990

A firefighter drowned in a surfing accident days after being arrested over alleged offences involving child abuse images, an inquest has heard.

Richard Carrington, 38, from Southampton, was found in Kimmeridge Bay, Dorset, on 8 October, with his broken surfboard nearby.

He was interviewed two days earlier on suspicion of possessing indecent images of children and released on bailed.

Coroner Sheriff Payne recorded a verdict of accidental death.

Mr Carrington, known as "Blakey", served on green watch at Hightown Fire Station in Southampton, and had been with Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service since 1990.

He lived with his wife Diana and their two-year-old daughter, but had moved out of the family home when the couple decided on a trial separation to help rebuild their marriage, the inquest heard.

Cuts on neck

The firefighter's camper van was found parked near to where his body was found at the popular surf spot, where he had gone to surf the Broadbench wave, the hearing was told.

His body had been in the water for about 24 hours by the time a walker found him on rocks the next day, the inquest heard.

Bournemouth, Poole and East Dorset Coroner's Court also heard the weather was "very poor" with a strong rip tide when Mr Carrington went surfing on 7 October.

Police initially treated the death as suspicious after finding cuts on his neck and right ankle, but a post-mortem examination showed they were from gravel that had entered his wet suit and that he had drowned.

Kimmeridge Bay
Kimmeridge Bay is a popular spot for surfers in Dorset

Mr Carrington had been released on bail until 13 April after being interviewed by police, the inquest was told.

Coroner Sheriff Payne said: "Although he wasn't living with his wife and daughter he immediately told his wife and his father.

"It was not a matter he attempted to hide from them in any way.

"His wife Diana has said she confirmed her support to him, certainly she had no concerns about him looking after their daughter."

Mr Carrington's surfboard had broken in half and Mr Payne said there was no evidence that he banged his head on rocks.

"He did what he did previously, he went off for the day to enjoy himself," he added.

"My feeling is that some sort of problem has occurred, whether the surfboard broke under him, whether he just came off the board out at sea."

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