A “LOVING and caring” young Andover man took his own life after suffering depression, an inquest heard this week.

On Tuesday, coroner Graeme Short recorded that Anthony Nathan Smith, of Tintagel Close, committed suicide after his body was found in a wooded area near Anton Lakes in June.

The inquest heard that the 20-year-old left his home on the morning of Monday, 8 June, to go to work as a contractor on a building site.

His mother, Helen Smith, had said goodbye to him at the door and was expecting to hear from him later in the morning to see if he had sorted out his wages.

Throughout the morning other family members heard that he had posted some messages on social media, suggesting that he may take his own life, and a police search was launched.

Investigations revealed that he had set himself up a second Facebook account in the name of Anthony Kempster, which his family knew nothing about, where he had posted messages about his low moods.

At just after 8am he sent a text message to a friend expressing his intentions, but she was sitting a GSCE maths exam and did not pick the message up until later that morning.

He had sent messages to her in the past suggesting the intention to end his life but had not gone through with it.

At just after 6pm the following day a father and young son were walking through Anton Lakes Nature Reserve looking for a mole that they had seen a few days earlier. The father went to search through the bushes and found Anthony’s body hanged.

He took his son home and alerted the police.

Describing the circumstances in which Anthony was found, DC Jonathan Duggan told the inquest that drug paraphernalia was found near the body but there was nothing to suggest that his death was drug related.

A pathology report by Dr Al- Talib confirmed his injuries were consistent with hanging.

In a statement by his mother read out at the inquest, she said: “He was such a loving boy and so caring. We had an open relationship, it doesn’t make sense.”

Anthony had seen a doctor after previously suffering low moods and was given anti-depressant medication which he was no longer taking. He was also concerned about his nan, who he was close to, as she was suffering ill-health.

Recording his conclusions, Mr Short said: “The evidence is clear that Anthony had depression. It seems to me from his history he was contemplating suicide for some time prior to his death.

“We know that he was posting messages on the day of his death and therefore I have no difficulty in concluding from that he had made his decision. He was in a place where he was unlikely to be found and it was by chance that a man looking for a mole found his body.”