A FATHER who had separated from his partner and feared her starting a new relationship was found dead in woodland eight days after going missing, an inquest has heard.

Robert Paxton was reported missing on June 24 by his mother Elizabeth after he did not return from work. His body was found on the ground by police hidden in trees at Pennington Flash Country Park on July 1.

The Bolton inquest heard how he had been diagnosed with manic depression in 1997 but had not been taking medication for five years until a few weeks before his death.

Mr Paxton, aged 33, of Pilling Street, Leigh, had separated from his partner Katrina Rees, with whom he had two children Tyler, aged three and one-year-old Amelia, in March and his mother told the court how he had feared she would meet someone else.

She said: “One of his problems was low self esteem. He never thought he was good enough for Katrina .

“One of the things that was the biggest worry when they weren’t together was that Katrina would marry someone else who would be a better partner, a better husband and a better dad.

“He would rather die than see someone else bring his children up.”

The inquest heard how Mr Paxton had hoped that the relationship would restart and he went every night to Katrina’s house to read his children stories and put them to bed.

He had a problem with alcohol but in the weeks before his death he had been trying to sort his life out according to Mrs Paxton and had gone to the doctors on June 16 where his prescribed medication.

Pathologist Dr Naveen Sharma, who conducted the post mortem examination, gave the cause of death as hanging. He was found with cable ties on his body. Mrs Paxton asked if this could be changed due to the fact he had been found lying down.

Area coroner Alan Walsh gave the cause of death as asphyxia and concluded that Mr Paxton had taken his own life while suffering from depression. After the inquest, Mrs Paxton said: “He was a wonderful son and a wonderful father. He never realised how special he was.”