Mystery surrounds the death of popular school technician and musician Ian Leaf

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MYSTERY surrounds the death of a promising musician and popular technician who took his own life.

Thousands of Echo readers helped spread the message online after Ian Leaf went missing at the beginning of January.

The 30-year-old found dead in a wooded area near his home in Oxclose, Washington after a 48-hour search by family and friends.

An inquest into his death was held at Sunderland Civic Centre this week, but failed to find any clues as to why the took his own life.

An examination of Ian’s mobile and computer showed nothing to indicate any intentions to take his own life.

Sunderland Coroner Derek Winter said: “It’s also the case that some notes were left by Mr Leaf, but nothing which would go to state his intentions.”

The inquest heard Ian’s body was found hanging in Cambrian Way on January 7.

Dr Debra Milne told the hearing a A post mortem examination concluded that Ian’s cause of death was hanging.

Police said there were no suspicious circumstances or third party involvement.

A toxicology report showed there was no evidence that he was under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

Mr Winter said: “I will find that beyond reasonable doubt that the appropriate conclusion to record is that Mr Leaf killed himself. Matters are concluded with my condolences to his family.”

Ian had worked as an audio and visual technician at Lord Lawson of Beamish Academy, in Birtley, for three years up until he went missing.

He had previously worked at Washington School for five years.

His death shocked pupils and staff at both schools, with hundreds of tributes left for the musician, who played bass in indie band My Attorney.

Speaking after his death, Ian’s parents Albert and Pat said their son was “popular and creative” as well as a keen baker, who made it to the final three of the audition stage of the Great British Bake Off in Manchester last year.

Sister Fiona, a doctor at Newcastle’s Royal Victoria Infirmary, added that her brother was “irreplaceable”.

Ian, who lived on Lumley Close, studied at Lord Lawson of Beamish Academy before taking A-levels in English, art and art history at the sixth form and going on to complete a degree in media studies.

He learned to play the guitar at the age of 11 and even wrote a song for his grandparent’s golden wedding anniversary, with his sister on vocals.

He began playing backing guitar for singer Rebecca Jones before joining bands Sunday School Adventure Club and My Attorney.