A DEPRESSED man shot himself in the head with a shotgun in the garage of his Hazlemere home, an inquest heard.

The body of Keith Dear was found in the garage of his Roberts Rise home at about 12.33pm on September 7 by his long-term partner Susan Owen, Beaconsfield Coroner’s Court was told.

The 66-year-old shouted upstairs to Ms Owen, who was surfing the internet with headphone over her ears, that he was going out for a drive.

She noticed Mr Dear’s car had not been taken out and assumed he decided to go for a walk instead but she later found him dead in the garage, Wednesday's inquest heard.

Ms Owen told the court how Mr Dear, who was retired, had been suffering from anxiety and depression for about nine months.

She said: “I had noticed a difference in his behaviour, he was very subdued. I had asked him and I don’t think he had any suicidal thoughts.

“[Last time I saw him] I went in his bedroom and he was lying with a cover over his eyes. He said he hadn’t slept all night and had terrible dreams. I asked what about and he said ‘I’ll tell you later’.”

She added Mr Dear hadn’t used the registered shotgun “for many years”.

A post mortem revealed the Enfield-born man had not been taking one of his anti-depressants prior to his death.

Reaching a verdict of suicide, the Buckinghamshire Coroner Richard Hulett said: “The circumstances are pretty self-evident.

“Mr Dear’s anxiety and depression was probably worse than people appreciated. I think he has reached a point that morning where he has decided to do something as drastic as this.

“The gun was carefully kept in a cabinet en-route to the garage. He took his own life.”