ON THE day his estranged wife told him she wanted a divorce, heavy cannabis-user Michael Hutchins hanged himself in the garage of his mother's home in Newent, an inquest heard today.

His mum and his widow hugged each other after the inquest into the death of 43-year-old Mr Hutchins at Gloucestershire Coroner's Court.

Michael had a meeting with Rachael Hutchins at their home in Ashtree Close, Newent on October 5, last year when she told him that she wanted a divorce, "but only to shock him," the Barnwood inquest was told.

He had been to see his GP and complained of depression and low mood and had moved into his mother's house in Knights Way, Newent two weeks before killing himself.

Mum Jo Awford said, in a written statement: "Mike seemed fine and was laughing with us at the dining table but then he said that he was going into the garage to have a cigarette.

"He came back for a bottle of beer and when he did not return after 20 minutes I went into the garage and found him hanging, with an electric cable around his neck.

"I screamed for my husband – Mike's step-father – and I cut him down."

The couple commenced CPR and called the ambulance.

The police attended and reported that there was a green plastic step on the workbench directly underneath where Michael had been hanging.

The cable had been looped through a roof beam and no suicide note was found.

They said that there were no suspicious circumstances.

Coroner David Dooley said: "His GP reports drug and alcohol issues and he had suffered a stroke in 2013.

"In September he had complained of low mood after splitting up from his partner and he has had a history of heavy cannabis usage for more than 12 years.

Said Mr Dooley: "He had been laughing with his mum and step-dad earlier and said that he was going out for a cigarette and then came back for a bottle of beer, so he was clearly ensuring that they did not suspect anything was wrong."

After the inquest at Barnwood a weeping Rachael Hutchins and Jo Awford turned to face each other and hugged for several seconds.

Conclusion: suicide.