AN elderly Winchester man took his own life because he could no longer live without his wife, an inquest heard.

Alan Bell, 84, hanged himself at his home on Colebrook Street on November 21 last year.

A hearing in Winchester on Wednesday (June 12) was told that Mr Bell had been an active man, serving in the army before becoming a fireman.

But his wife, Irene, died in 2011 and a statement from his GP said that Mr Bell had been severely depressed as a result.

Unable to pursue his cycling hobby due to deteriorating eyesight, the court heard that his depression worsened.

Recording a verdict of suicide, Grahame Short, coroner for central Hampshire, said: “I have read the notes that he left which support my conclusion. He knew what he was doing and intended the consequences of his actions.

“It’s understandable in the circumstances but a shock nonetheless.”