A Hampshire firefighter who took his own life had been taken on too much work, an inquest has heard. Father-of-three Martin Coles was found hanged in a wooded area in Wickham on 9 August last year. The inquest in Winchester heard the 54-year-old workshop foreman and retained firefighter had been worrying about money and had been working hard before his death. Less than two years earlier, Mr Coles had been demoted from his job as a manager at animal supplies store to a workshop foreman - a decision his family said he was unhappy about. His widow Jill Coles told the court how she went to bed and woke up the next day to find her husband wasn't there. Due to the nature of his work, she assumed that he had been called out during the night and only became suspicious when she spotted his car in the drive. Mr Coles had no history of attempted suicide and no traces of drugs or alcohol was found in his blood. Grahame Short, coroner for central Hampshire, said: 'I'm satisfied beyond reasonable doubt that he intended to hang himself due to the nature of his death. It's extremely sad but he clearly could see no way out of his situation.' He recorded a verdict that Mr Coles had taken his own life. A series of recent reports have linked increased suicide rates to job insecurity and other recession-related stresses.
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