A FATHER-OF-FOUR suffering from depression following the breakdown of his marriage hanged himself, a coroner has concluded.

Lee James Peel, of Bury Road, Haslingden, was found dead in a wooded area near Fern Terrace after going missing for two days.

His mother Linda paid a moving tribute to her 36-year-old son during the inquest into his death at Burnley Magistrates Court yesterday.

She described him as a ‘gem’ who was ‘very liked’.

Mrs Peel told the court: “He was desperate from the break-up of his marriage and he just wanted his wife and children.

“He said he could not wait forever.

“He was a very liked lad, very loved. He was a lovely son.

“We are torn, but we are not broken because we have got memories of him and he has left a legacy behind him of four beautiful children. He was a gem. Lee was one of those people that will be very sadly missed by everyone. We were a close family anyway but we are closer and we just wish Lee could have held on.”

Richard Taylor, senior coroner for East Lancashire, also heard from Mr Peel’s brother Martin.

Mr Peel had been staying with his him and his partner before he died.

Hel was reported missing on January 31 after leaving his brother’s home in ‘a depressed state’.

Martin Peel and his friend decided to search for him around Haslingden, including the area which runs alongside the football pitch.

He told the court he already feared the worst at this point.

Mr Peel was later found hanged.

Mr Taylor concluded that Mr Peel had taken his own life.

He told the family: “The tragedy of this case is we never know what is going on in somebody’s mind.

“He clearly could not cope and he made a decision which I fully appreciate you have to live with.”