Who was Peter Coshan? Murder probe explained as body found in Northumberland in search for ex Fettes teacher

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A body found near Kirkwhelpington has been identified as that of former Fettes College teacher Peter Coshan

Police investigating the murder Peter Coshan have confirmed a body found in Northumberland is that of the retired teacher.

Dr Coshan was last seen on 11 August in Edinburgh - with his disappearance being treated as murder and wide-ranging searches carried out to find his body.

His body was found in Northumberland on Sunday.

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The retired teacher taught at a prestigious Edinburgh school for decades and was also involved in the Duke of Edinburgh Awards - with a petition started calling for him to be recognised for his work on the latter.

Two men appeared in court on 18 August charged with the murder of Dr Coshan.

But who was Peter Coshan and what is the latest with the investigation?

The body of retired teacher Peter Coshan was found in Northumberland.The body of retired teacher Peter Coshan was found in Northumberland.
The body of retired teacher Peter Coshan was found in Northumberland. | PA

Who was Peter Coshan?

Dr Coshan was a member of the teaching staff at Fettes College in Edinburgh, where former prime minister Tony Blair was once a pupil, from 1972 until his retirement in 2005.

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The 75-year-old had taught biology and had also ran the school’s Duke of Edinburgh Awards scheme.

A petition on change.org has been started to call for Dr Coshan to be given recognition for the work he did on the Duke of Edinburgh scheme with a posthumous award.

In the petition, it says Dr Coshan was “warmly remembered by former pupils and staff as a leading figure at the school”

And it states it would be “befitting this wonderful educator some sort of posthumous award for his service and commitment to the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award scheme.”

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Tributes have bee left on the petition page, with one calling him a “compassionate educator”, while another decribed him as a “brilliant teacher and a lovely man”.

Paying tribute to him Helen Harrison, head of Fettes College, previously said: “Peter was an inspirational biology teacher and he will be remembered fondly by many, not least by those who were taught by him, tutored by him and introduced to the hills through his enthusiasm for the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme, which he ran for 33 years.”

Where was he last seen?

Dr Coshan was last seen in the Seafield area of Edinburgh at about 11.50pm on Thursday 11 August.

He was reported missing the following day.

'Murdered' - former Fettes College teacher Dr Peter Coshan'Murdered' - former Fettes College teacher Dr Peter Coshan
'Murdered' - former Fettes College teacher Dr Peter Coshan

What is the latest with the investigation?

Police had been searching land in the Scottish Borders and the north of England for his body.

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Officers were scouring parts of the north of England when they made the discovery on Sunday, on the A696 near the village of Kirkwhelpington in Northumberland.

Police Scotland has confirmed the body which was discovered in Northumberland has been identified as that of Dr Coshan.

The force said Dr Coshan’s family has been made aware and specialist officers are continuing to provide support to them.

Detective Superintendent Andrew Patrick, of Police Scotland’s Major Investigation Team, said: “Our thoughts remain with Peter’s family at this incredibly difficult time. “I would again like to thank everyone who has come forward with information which has helped our investigation.”

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Has anyone been charged?

Paul Black, 63, also known as Joseph Hillary, and Paul McNaughton, 27, have both appeared in court charged with the murder of Dr Coshan.

Black and McNaughton appeared at Edinburgh Sheriff Court on 18 August, with the pair also charged with attempting to defeat the ends of justice and theft.

They made no plea when they appeared in private at the court.

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