A man with a history of depression took his own life while his wife and children were away, an inquest heard.

David Edmunds, 35, of Maple Avenue, St Albans, was found in “secluded” woodland near Punchbowl Lane, St Albans on January 20 this year.

Assistant Coroner for Hertfordshire Graham Danbury led an inquest into Mr Edmunds' death at The Old Courthouse in Hatfield today.

The inquest heard how Mr Edmunds had been treated for depression since 2006 and had seen his doctor shortly before his death.

A statement from his wife described how he had been off work because of his condition but seemed to be coping.

When his wife and children went away to her parents on January 14, Mr Edmunds decided not to go because he had work to do decorating the house.

His wife rang him the next day but there was no answer and she thought he might be out.

The next day, Mr Edmunds' parents went round to check on him but again he was not at home.

Detective Sergeant Karen Lewis from St Albans Police Station said Mr Edmund’s parents reported him missing on January 17.

Police checking Mr Edmunds' bank account discovered he had withdrawn cash at a BP petrol station in Verulam Road.

His car was later picked up on CCTV cameras in Holywell Hill at 4.01pm, but police could not track it further.

Det Sgt Lewis said on January 20 police received a call from a member of the public who had found someone hanging in woodland.

Officers identified Mr Edmunds from his driving licence.

Mr Danbury recorded the cause of death as hanging.

He concluded: “I am satisfied that David took his own life and intended that the act would have ended his life.”

Addressing Mr Edmund’s father, who attended the inquest, Mr Danbury added: “During the 25 years I’ve been doing this it seems people who are determined to take their own life tend to conceal that completely from their dearest and nearest.

“You musn’t beat yourselves up that you could have done something else.”