A man from Kings Langley took his own life, an inquest heard today, as his family visited a tourist attraction while holidaying in Italy.

Geoffrey Woodcock, from Barnes Lane, hung himself on August 20 after a three year battle with multiple sclerosis.

The 53-year-old was discovered by his wife after locking himself in a room of their rented holiday villa, in Todi, Italy.

The family had all been out together the night before for dinner in the nearby town centre, and they intended to visit Assisi the next day.

Claudia Woodcock said they wanted to start early to avoid the August midday heat, but her husband was too tired to go with them, as his physical condition could vary from day to day.

She added that he wanted to enjoy himself but was frustrated at not able to do as much as he wanted.

The family set off on the trip without Mr Woodcock, wondering if the trip to a restaurant the night before meant he needed some rest.

On their return they found the shutters closed so assumed he was sleeping, but when Mrs Woodcock went to check on her husband and make him a coffee she was unable to open the door.

After not being able to get a response, the family contacted the owner of the villa who sent two men to prise the door open, whereupon they discovered Mr Woodcock had taken his own life.

His GP, Dr Mark Brownfield, said he was diagnosed with the degenerative disease in 2007, and was receiving disease modification treatment in Salford and Hertfordshire.

Mr Woodcock, an information technology specialist, had seen a neurologist in January this year, and was administering injections of a drug known as “copaxone” to help control the symptoms.

However, after a relapse in July, he was suffering from pain and numbness on his right hand side and was prescribed steroids, as well as emotional support.

Coroner Edward Thomas recorded a verdict of suicide and added: “Mr Woodcock's situation would have been extremely difficult and I would like to extend my sympathies to the family.”