A teacher killed himself after being told he was HIV positive.

Colin Rawlinson, was found surrounded by empty pill packets on clifftops in Roedean days after he was diagnosed with the life threatening condition.

Mr Rawlinson's partner of sixteen years, Ian Storey, told an inquest in Brighton he was 'surprised' how badly Mr Rawlinson dealt with the news.

The 45-year-old sank into depression after he was diagnosed and travelled to the clifftops where he took three times the fatal level of both anti depressants and sleeping pills as well as drinking a third of a bottle of wine.

He was found lying wearing a pair of headphones on the grass next to the A259 by runner Melanie Newport, who is a doctor at the Royal Sussex County Hospital in Brighton.

She called an ambulance but Mr Rawlinson was declared dead at the scene at 7.20am on September 7.

Mr Storey said: “He told me he had been diagnosed with HIV, which came as a great surprise.

“I think that would have been a significant factor.

“I don't think he handled it very well which was a surprise given how rational and clear headed he could be.

“I was with him until 1pm the day before he died.

“He seemed to be doing very will but I think he was putting a brave face on things.”

A search for Mr Rawlinson, head of Psychology at Luton Sixth Form college, was put out in the national media after he failed to turn up for work.

He had removed his SIM card from his phone and taken £150 out at the bank to travel to Brighton.

Assistand Deputy Coroner for Brighton and Hove Karen Henderson recorded a verdict of suicide.

She said: “It appears his diagnosis was the final straw.”

She added: “In Brighton, which has a high rate of HIV, many people live very full and happy lives.

“So it is sad that someone who had done so much chose to take their own life.”