A DISTRESSED businessman shot himself in woodland after becoming worried about his work, an inquest heard.

The body of father-of-two Tim Grey was found slumped against a tree in Bram-down Copse, Overton, on the morning of Friday, November 7, this year.

One of his licensed shotguns was found between his knees, with his white Spaniel dog Thomas alive nearby, an inquest at Basingstoke Magistrates’ Court heard yesterday.

His wife Jenny Grey raised the alarm, having woken at 5.15am to find her 45-year-old husband was not in their Overton home, an apparent suicide note on his desk, and one of his shotguns missing from a cabinet.

The police were called and a search began, the inquest heard. Mr Grey’s body was found in Bramdown Copse at 9.50am by his friend Robert Ball, with whom he had gone shooting game in the past.

Mrs Grey told the inquest that her husband had suffered depression for most of his life, took medication, and had been admitted to a private mental health hospital after a breakdown in 2000.

She said in the weeks before his death, he had become “increasingly anxious” that he was not getting paid as a director of a company, and was negative about the effect this could have on their family, despite her reassurances.

The day before his death, his wife told him to take a sleeping pill, as he had not been sleeping well, and had gone to bed at 11pm.

But the inquest heard he did not take the pill, and with his wife sleeping in another room, left the house in the early hours of the next morning.

Mrs Grey told the inquest: “I knew Tim was very depressed but I never had the slightest idea that he would take his own life. He was an intelligent, larger-than-life character – a colourful man with a big heart.”

Dr Mark Collins, Mr Grey’s consultant psychiatrist, said when he last saw Mr Grey in February this year, he had mentioned being stressed about a business deal in Africa.

In his evidence, read out in court, he said the suicide note suggested Mr Grey had become a psychotic depressive and delusional about his situation to the point where he thought it was in his family’s best interests to take his own life.

Andrew Bradley, coroner for North East Hampshire, recorded a verdict of suicide, calling it a “desperately sad matter”.

Addressing Mrs Grey, he said: “I’m struck in this particular case by Dr Collins, that Tim is deluded to the extent that he sees a brave and positive way out by taking his own life that would leave you and your boys in a better position. Clearly that is delusional, but for Tim it’s rational and that’s how he sees it.”

Speaking after the inquest, Mrs Grey said: "Tim was a unique and special person, who was defined by his enormous capacity for love of his family and friends, his intelligence, courage and his determination to make a positive difference in the world. We will miss him with all our hearts."

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