A FATHER-OF-FOUR hanged himself in a derelict barn, an inquest heard.

Phillip Anthony Heap, had gone missing from his home in Oak Avenue, Rising Bridge, on October 24 last year.

He was discovered dead by police less than a mile away from his home at Tanner Barn, in Kings Highway, that morning.

Detective Inspector Paul Barlow, of Blackburn CID, said: “He was found alone and there were no signs of third party involvement.

"There was a note by his body which indicated an intent to end his life and included an apology to his family.”

Pathologist Dr Deepa Jacobs, who carried out the post-mortem examination, said the medical cause of death was hanging.

A toxicology report, which was later carried out, showed no traces of alcohol or drugs in Mr Heap’s blood system.

The inquest heard the 41-year-old father, who was born in Rawtenstall, had ADHD and has suffered from depression.

Mr Heap had previously attempted to commit suicide two years prior before his mother stopped him.

Mr Heap’s mother Janet Heap said her son was so ‘anxious’ that he wouldn’t visit his parents' house unless his wife Jennifer or his father brought him.

She said: “Phillip was so anxious. He would not leave the house. He would not even walk to the end of the street where there were only 12 houses and where we are the end house.”

A year before Mr Heap’s death NHS mental health nurse Alex Crawshaw met the former chemical factory worker at his Accrington home and tried to identify activities he could do to ease his anxiety levels.

He said: “He was not ready to engage or change that.”

In a tribute to her son, Mrs Heap said: “Everybody loved Phillip. The neighbours were mortified when they heard the news. He would do anything to help anybody and was adored by his children. This is just so upsetting.”

Reading a conclusion that Mr Heap had committed suicide, coroner Richard Taylor said: “It must have been a significant effort for him and he must have been very focused on what he was doing.”