A PASSIONATE rugby player from St Albans who had a long history of depression hung himself in a remote garage, an inquest heard today.

Nicholas Millar, who lived with four children and his widow in Watford Road, Chiswell Green, was discovered dead at around 3am on May 27 this year.

The 54-year-old was initially reported missing to police by his brother, who had received a distressed call from the victim threatening to commit suicide the day before his body was found.

A frantic police hunt to trace Mr Millar followed, with inspectors searching all of his favourite haunts, telephoning relatives and scouring open green spaces, near to his home in Chiswell Green.

Officers investigating his disappearance discovered his car abandoned in Farringdon Close, Chiswell Green, close to the garage where his body was later found.

Eventually a signal from Mr Millar's mobile phone, from which he had made the phone call to his brother, led police to the garage in Tennison Road where his body was discovered suspended by a rope.

The discovery followed a 12-hour police search.

On the day he died, Mr Millar had failed to turn up to work in Redbourn and had last seen family members at about noon that day.

Blood and urine tests revealed Mr Millar had overdosed on sleeping tablets and alcohol just moments before taking his own life in the disused garage that he owned. An empty packet of sleeping tablets and his mobile phone where found on the floor below his body.

Coroner Edward Thomas said Mr Millar had suffered from severe bouts of depression, prompted by the loss of close family members, in particular his parents-in-law. He had received help for his depression from his GP and counselling from mental health teams in St Albans.

Mr Thomas told the hearing that Mr Millar was a passionate sportsman and had retired from playing rugby in St Albans due to injury.

Recording that he died while in a depressive state, Mr Thomas said: "It's clear Mr Millar suffered from depressive episodes from time to time.

"I have read medical and GP reports and there were certain times that this came to the forefront, particularly when there were losses. The manner in which he was found dead indicated to me that he intended to take his own life.

"He took his own life while in a depressive state. When he didn't feel like that I don't think he would have taken his own life. "

Mr Thomas concluded that Mr Millar died from multiple traumatic injuries.