A WINCHESTER man with a history of depression and suicide attempts died at St Catherine's Hill, an inquest heard.

Lee “Dobby” Dobson had made three attempts in his life to commit suicide before he finally killed himself on January 1 this year.

Hours before he had hung himself the 45-year-old from Portal Road had had an argument with his wife Nicola, but after a “heart to heart” they had reconciled.

The former civil engineer had gone to take his dog for a walk later that evening but had returned to his home in Bar End in the early hours before heading back out to the beauty spot.

A phone call had been made to the police from a mobile phone registered to Mrs Dobson warning that a body was in the woods and added “It's better for the police to find the body rather than a member of public in the morning.”

When police found nothing at the beauty spot they contact Mrs Dobson at their home and after realising that she hadn't made the call they searched the area to the south of Winchester again.

It was then that Nicola found a note to her lying in the house saying: “It's better off this way in the long run, Dobby xx”.

His body was eventually found at St Catherine's Hill.

A report by Dr Robin Harlow, GP at St Clement's Surgery said that Mr Dobson had a history of suicide attempts, depression and alcoholism but had had no relapses since 1994.

Although they never had any children he and his wife had four children from previous relationships and was due to be a step grandfather to one of Nicola's daughters who was due to visit that weekend.

In a statement read out to the court Mrs Dobson said: “While I was with him he never gave any indication of any intention that was going to kill himself.

“I don't know why he's done this. He told me he loved me or so I thought.”

Coroner Simon Burge recorded a verdict of suicide.

“I have no doubt that he intended to take his own life,” said Mr Burge.