A TROUBLED father deliberately suffocated himself in his bedroom, an inquest ruled.

Peter Virgin, 75, was found dead in the bedroom of his home in Coggeshall Road, Braintree, last September.

Mr Virgin had suffered with mental health problems for 45 years, having been diagnosed with bipolar disorder in 1974.

Essex Police also found letters from the assisted suicide organisation Dignitas.

Coroner Eleanor McGann said that before Mr Virgin was found, he sent a text message to a friend.

The message said: “Thank you for being a great friend these past ten years. It is now time for me to say goodbye.” Another note, left said he “just could not face the future”.

Mrs McGann added: “It was my opinion it was a letter from Peter to show he was intending to take his own life.”

Prior to his death, Mr Virgin had been engaging in a lot of appointments with the Essex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust. During that time he attempted to overdose on prescribed medication.

After being admitted to Broomfield Hospital, on August 27, he discharged himself.

Mrs McGann questioned why Mr Virgin, with his history of mental health issues, was allowed to leave hospital so quickly after the incident.

Catherine Burch, clinical manager at the mental health trust, said: “Peter was not on any detention under the mental health act.

“He discharged himself from hospital, as was his legal right.”

After the episode, carers from the trust tried to set up appointments with Mr Virgin, however he did not answer.

Teams even made house calls, and Mr Virgin had given them consent to enter his home, but on a number of occasions they did not find him at home.

Mrs Burch said Mr Virgin sometimes “was hard to get close to” and he struggled with interaction as a result of his mental health problems.

Addressing Mr Virgin’s daughter at the hearing, Mrs McGann confirmed that Mr Virgin did intend to take his life.

She said: “I hope by coming here you will remember the happy times of your father and not just the sad times.”

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