AN Alresford man hanged himself by an empty auction room in the town, an inquest heard.

Winchester Coroner’s Court heard Matthew Brown, 41, was discovered by a couple walking their dog.

The trainers and ankles of Mr Brown, an NVQ assessor, was spotted under a fence by Colin and Louise Harris on July 31. They walked past but, troubled by the sight, they returned soon afterwards and made the grim discovery at Prospect Auctions Rooms, Prospect Road.

The inquest heard that Mr Brown, a father of one, was a diabetic and alcoholic who had separated from his wife Hayley at the end of last year.

She told the inquest Mr Brown had been caught drink-driving but it seemed to have had a positive effect: “For a short time it helped. It was a wake-up call. He had not been happy for a long time... I was hoping he would sort himself out.

At the time of his death Mr Brown was attending Inclusion, the alcohol and drugs service in Winchester.

Mr Brown, of De Lucy Avenue, had spent time sofa surfing but at the time of his death was living with his parents.

In a statement read to the inquest his father Gerald Brown said: “Matthew was quite a private person but became almost reclusive when he lived with us. He was anxious and had trouble sleeping. He drank a fair bit of an evening and this would help him go to sleep.

“He loved Hayley to bits but he had always been a bit of a loner. He was a quiet person, quite introverted and sometimes lacked motivation to take ownership of issues in his life. He cared a lot about what people thought of him.”

Mr Brown senior said his son was also worried by the long-term effects of being a diabetic such as the potential loss of limbs or sight.

PC Tim Wyld, who was called to the scene, said he found a half-empty bottle of vodka at his feet. There was no note.

Analysis of his blood showed he had drunk alcohol to nearly four times the drink-drive limit.

Senior coroner Grahame Short said: “It does appear the decision was impulsive and that he decided to hang himself, but given his tolerance of alcohol I do believe on the balance of probabilities that he still understood the consequences. It was a deliberate act and he intended to end his life.”