THE former director of local agricultural shop SCATS died after shooting himself in the head with a shotgun, an inquest heard.

Mark Walford, 86, was found in his garden at Down Farm Lane in Headbourne Worthy, by his carer, Lesley Webber.

Ms Webber said it was clear he had taken his own life when she found him on May 15 - ten days after he’d undergone knee surgery.

DC Craig Ferguson, of Basingstoke CID, said he arrived with the armed response unit at around 5.50pm.

He said there were no signs of foul play and described it as “a very tragic incident”.

“There wasn’t anything that was indicative that we would find in such matters,” he said. “There was no note left about his person or throughout the entirety of the house.”

South Central Hampshire coroner Grahame Short said: “I’m satisfied this was self-inflicted and I’m sure he intended to kill himself, given the way in which he died.”

Recording a verdict of suicide, Mr Short added Mr Walford was clearly “in a state to make a rational decision.”

“I hear there was no note or other explanation as to why he may have chosen this action,” he said. “He knew his own mind.”