A man who hanged himself was allowed to discharge himself from a mental health unit against medical advice, a coroner's court heard.

Lee Evans, 23, from Stanford-le-Hope, left his home on August 13 last year stating he "couldn't do this anymore" after he had broken up with his girlfriend.

The following day, Lee was discovered by a passer-by in a wooded area near Orsett about 30 feet away from the road.

He was pronounced dead at the scene.

A toxicology report found that Lee had died as a result of hanging and that there was a possibility that he was under the influence of cannabis when he died.

Giving evidence was Inspector Terry Fisher, who told the court that there was "no suspicious circumstances" surrounding Lee's death as "there were no defence wounds on his body".

The court heard how Lee had been admitted to the Essex Partnership University Trust (EPUT) hospital in July last year but discharged himself in the early hours of the morning against medical advice.

Speaking at the hearing was Tara Merrell, a matron at the EPUT, who said: "There was no reason or grounds to detain him in the hospital so his discharge was agreed."

Mrs Beasley-Murray said: "Surely due care should be taken when someone discharges themselves against medical advice in the middle of the night."

Ms Merrell confirmed that the EPUT has started taking more robust procedures since then.

After hearing the evidence given to her, Mrs Beasley-Murray came to the conclusion that Lee had committed suicide.

She said: "I have come to the very, very, sad conclusion that Lee intended to take his own life.

"I have to be sure without reasonable doubt that he intended to take his life and I am sure."

"He was clearly loved and I am sure you did your best for him and I would like to express my sympathy to you."

While Lee was missing, a request was made by Essex Police to use Essex fire service's thermal imaging kit to find him but the fire service refused.