Inquest records open verdict after death of Durham School teacher

The Inquest into the death of Durham School teacher Mark Bushnell has recorded an open verdict.

Widow of Durham teacher says death is 'unfathomable'

The inquest has been held into the death of the deputy headmaster of Durham School. 50-year-old Mark Bushnell went missing on March 8 and was found on the beach at Blackhall in County Durham two weeks later. There was an extensive search for him when he disappeared.

The County Durham coroner, Andrew Tweddle, recorded an open verdict at the hearing in Crook. He said he had to be sure beyond reasonable doubt and he wasn't certain that Mr Bushnell intended to take his life or that it was an accident.

"He had so much to live for: he had me, his job and his boys. We had plans for the future."

– Joanna Bushnell

Joanna Bushnell, Mark's widow, said they had been together for 29 years. She said his death was "just unfathomable".

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Durham Police: “Our thoughts are with Mark’s family”

The police inspector who led the search for Mark Bushnell has said that his officers are thinking of the missing teacher’s family.

This comes as a body found near Blackhall Rocks on Saturday 22 March was formally identified as Mark Bushnell earlier today.

He was deputy headteacher at the Durham School in the city. He had been missing since Sunday 9 March.

Our thoughts are with Mark's family at this extremely difficult time. Mark's wife, Joanna would like to thank all involved in the search for Mark for their efforts.”

– Chief Inspector Andy Huddleston, Durham Police

Body found in Blackhall formally identified as missing Durham teacher Mark Bushnell

Family man Mark Bushnell was a father of three.
Mark Bushnell's body was formally identified earlier today.
There have been extensive searches for the missing teacher since he left the family home on Sunday 9 March.

Police officially identified a body found in Blackhall near Peterlee on Saturday 22 March as the missing Durham teacher Mark Bushnell.

He was deputy headteacher at Durham School in the city. He left the family home on Sunday 9 March to look for a laundrette.

Since then, there have been extensive searches of the Blackhall Rocks area led by Durham Police officers but with dozens of search and rescue volunteers in support.

The Coastguard and the British Transport Police were also called on to assist the search.

Police confirm body found is Mark Bushnell

Police say a body found in Blackhall near Peterlee on Saturday is that of missing teacher Mark Bushnell.

Mark was reported missing from his home in Durham City on March 9. Mr Bushnell's body was discovered on the beach by a member of the public on March 22.

There are no suspicious circumstances.

"Our thoughts are with Mark's family at this extremely difficult time. Mark's wife, Joanna would like to thank all involved in the search for Mark for their efforts."

– Chief Inspector Andy Huddleston

Body believed to be Mark Bushnell

Police searching for Mark Bushnell, say they believe a body found at Blackhall Rocks on Saturday is that of the missing Durham teacher.

We are still in the process of formal identification procedures but do believe that the body found on Saturday morning is that of Mark and his family and colleagues been informed.

There is thought to be no third party involvement in his death and a file is being prepared for the coroner.

– Chief Inspector Andy Huddleston

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