‘Outstanding diplomat’ who helped solve the Covid crisis hanged three months after disappearing on the run

A SENIOR diplomat is under “extreme stress” after working on the Coronavirus crisis and the case where Harry Dunn was found hanged from a tree, an inquest has heard.

Richard Morris, 52, disappeared while running near his home in Hampshire in 2020, but his body was not found until three months later.

Richard Morris was stressed before his death


Richard Morris was stressed before his deathCredit: GOV
Former Ambassador to Nepal Mr. Morris hosted an event with Prince Harry


Former Ambassador to Nepal Mr. Morris hosted an event with Prince HarryCredit: Getty Images – Getty

The former ambassador to Nepal worked long hours coordinating briefings with ministers as the UK government first battled the coronavirus pandemic.

Mr. Morris was a member of the team that worked on The Harry Dunn caseafter the teenager was knocked down by Anne Sacoolasnear RAF Croughton in 2019.

An inquest into his death heard today that he was “completely unprotected” against the demands of working in the covid task force.

His wife, Alison Morris, said her husband feared there was not enough time to process the information and she told him he was not “responsible for Covid-19”.

She told the inquest: “I think for him it felt like he was being told to be more manly and resilient.”

Alison believes that as a result Mr Morris was “desperate” to keep leading if what was happening and “there is no real respite.”

He was last seen running near his home, which he usually does to relieve stress, on May 6, 2020, and was later found hanged in Alice Holt Forest three months later. .

The couple had returned to the UK after several years working in Nepal, and MR Morris worked for the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) in London for several months before their expected registration. ​for Fiji.

His wife explains that he is “proud” to work for FCDO and finds it “diverse, stimulating and engaging”.

Winchester Coroner Court, Hants, heard he was struggling to adjust to returning to work in London.

During his time on the Covid-19 task force, he helped coordinate briefings for ministers and worked during stressful times while Prime Minister Boris Johnson was in intensive care.

His wife added: “It was the most stressful job he had ever had. He was extremely tense.

“I don’t know when the night sweats started but I told Richard he should see a doctor. He said he was just stressed. The bed will be completely soaked.

“On top of that, the potential danger from any mistake he might make is potentially public.

“If any information error slips through him, the Government or the Civil Service is broken.”


After disappearing while on the run, the police began an investigation and organized extensive searches.

When his body was found, Secretary of State Dominic Raab informed staff that he had passed away, and described him as an “excellent diplomat” who had “served his country a great deal”. excellent way.”

Raab said: “We have received tragic news that they have found the body of our much-loved colleague Richard Morris.

“I am deeply saddened by his death and my heart goes out to his wife and three children.

“Many of you will feel this personally. He served his country as a distinguished diplomat, embodying the best in the Queen’s government.

“He was a much-loved colleague and he will be greatly missed.”

Peter Jones, COO of the Foreign Office at the time, said many colleagues paid tribute to Mr Morris, describing him as a “true diplomat” and “the best of us”. “.

The query continues.

If you are affected by any of the issues outlined in this article, please call the Samaritans toll free on 116123.

He disappeared after going on the run in May 2020


He disappeared after going on the run in May 2020Credit: Solent
His wife, Alison, describes him as a "quiet extrovert"


His wife, Alison, describes him as a “quiet extrovert”.Credit: INS ‘Outstanding diplomat’ who helped solve the Covid crisis hanged three months after disappearing on the run


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