A builder hanged himself at home while in the middle of a meeting with a mental health care worker, an inquest heard today (Wednesday).

Jim Hawes, 63, excused himself part way through the meeting in the kitchen, went to the garage and then killed himself while the care worker and his relatives were still inside his Penn home.

A coroner heard that just a day earlier, Mr Hawes had asked how easy it would be to kill himself.

He had struggled with depression for eight years and although he had been seen as a priority by a locum consultant nine days before his death, he was considered at low risk in terms of suicide and self-harm.

However on June 9 this year, when health worker Isabelle Bloin arrived at his home, he left their meeting halfway through and disappeared into the garage where he often went to hide.

His daughter Laura Trendell went to check on him and he said he was fine, the coroner heard.

However, when she returned a short time later and looked through a window, she was horrified to see a rope around her father's neck.

Giving evidence Laura Trendall said: "The day before he asked if I would help him kill himself. He wasn't specific."

She said it was a "daily occurrence" for Mr Hawes to hide in a number of locations, including the garage.

On the day of his death, she recalled her dad seemed nervous about meeting a health worker and quickly left the 11am meeting, which she continued in his absence.

Ms Trendall went to check on him and told the inquest in Beaconsfield: "He was in the garage, I knocked on the door and asked if he was okay.

“He said he was fine and I asked him what he was doing. He said he was hiding. I asked if he was not doing anything stupid, he said he wasn't.

"I didn't realise the garage door was locked then but subsequently I did."

When her sister Helen arrived home at the family cottage in Church Road, the trio went to find Mr Hawes so that health worker Ms Bloin could speak to him before arranging the next appointment.

Ms Trendall said: "I knocked on the door calling my dad's name to see if he was there but he didn't respond.

“Then I went around to the window. It was then I called out for my sister when I realised the situation and tried to enter the garage."

Emergency services arrived 15 minutes later but after they broke down the door and administered CPR, Mr Hawes could not be saved.

Mr Hawes had no history of self-harm although a fortnight before the appointment he had been missing for 10 days and the doctor prescribed diazepam, a drug which had helped him in the past.

Senior coroner Crispin Giles Butler, said: "I have to start by considering the cause as suicide. He was in a garage on his own, it was secluded but there were other people present.

"He knew there were two family members and a health worker present. He had been spoken through the door just before that. I have concerns that this was an indication of what he would do if someone were to section him.

"I do not know what his intention was."

Recording an open conclusion, the coroner added he believed it was possible Mr Hawes believed he could be saved.