A young father committed suicide in the grounds of a Garston school after an argument with his ex-partner, an inquest heard today.

Carl Hutchins, who lived at Magpie Place, in Watford, was found in the grounds of St Michael’s Catholic School on October 3, nearly seven hours after police were alerted that he was missing.

Hertfordshire Coroner’s Court was told the 23-year-old labourer had had an argument with his former girlfriend after finding text messages on her phone from another man.

After the row, he stormed out of the Boundary Way flat.

Police were called at 1.59am when he sent a “goodbye” message to his mother, Marion Featherstone, telling her he was going to kill himself.

Mr Hutchins also posted on Facebook that he was intending to take his own life.

Post-mortem tests revealed that the Arsenal supporter had taken a small amount of cocaine and a small amount of alcohol prior to his death.

He was found in a tree in the school’s playing fields at 8.50am.

The inquest heard how the former Francis Combe student had had suicidal thoughts in the past, and had visited his GP to discuss possible treatments.

Doctor Sarah Carter, of Vine House Health Centre, in Abbots Langley, said he came to the practice complaining of stress and anxiety because he said he had been wrongly accused of something.

Dr Carter said Mr Hutchins did mention having suicidal thoughts but said he had no plans to carry them out.

She recommended that Mr Hutchins receive counselling as she concluded he was showing signs of depression.

However, he said he did not find it easy or helpful to talk sometimes, and Dr Carter was satisfied that he had a good family network around him, as he spoke highly of them.

Mr Hutchins had been off work for about six weeks due to an injury, and Dr Carter said this was affecting his mood.

The inquest was told by Margaret Rmiki, a social worker at the Hertfordshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, that she saw Mr Hutchins being brought in by police on September 23, after his sister told them she was concerned for his safety.

Speaking about Mr Hutchins’ meeting with one of the hospital’s doctors, Ms Rmiki said the young man did talk of having “fleeting thoughts of suicide”.

However, once again he told doctors he had never made any plans to take his own life.

Mr Hutchins said he had previously spent between £20 and £40 a week on cannabis, but had stopped using the drug at the time of his death.

Coroner Edward Thomas described Mr Hutchins’ relationship with his partner as “volatile”, and one which “did affect him deeply”.

Mr Thomas said the young man must have been “acutely distressed” and depressed around the time of his death.

He gave a verdict that Mr Hutchins took his own life.