A schoolboy with dreams of becoming a police officer discovered a body in Watford, an inquest was told on Wednesday.

Hertfordshire Constabulary swept through dense woodland near Colne Valley Linear Park on Friday, October 10, after Anthony Chapman went missing and his partner had received messages saying "he was going to hurt himself".

Hertfordshire Coroner’s Court heard a 13-year-old noticed police in the area and saw "a figure in the distance".

He then found the nearest police officer and led to them to Mr Chapman, who was found hanged in the woods.

Detective Constable Andrea Dunton later confirmed the teenager "wanted to help" police and "was being more observant than anyone would usually have been".

Ms Dunton also told the inquest the boy wanted to be a policeman.

Police searched the woodlands and the dog unit was called in. But officers also used mobile phone searches to track down the 45-year-old.

Coroner Edward Thomas, in his conclusion, said: "He did not see any future.

"He tried to get himself back, but he needed to show commitment that he was prepared to address the thing that destroyed the relationships that he had with people, who, when he was fine, said he was a lovely man.

"That was why people were prepared to give him a chance. That is what is so sad. Alcohol had a big part.

"I am satisfied Anthony took his own life."

The court heard Chapman’s relationship broke-down with his partner, Rowena Nicholson, after he had got angry with her over financial difficulties.

Mr Thomas said: "Anthony had been in some difficulty with Rowena. There were financial difficulties and he had got angry so he had to leave for her own safety.

"The police were involved but she did not want any action taken and he was very remorseful.

"Having discussed what he would have to do to return to that home, he began staying with a neighbour, Stuart Tunnicliffe, who was a landlord of a nearby pub."

In August, Mr Chapman’s mood was described as "very low" and he rejected help from Mr Tunnifcliffe.

A day before his death, he told the pub landlord he was leaving to stay with family.

The court heard: "Stuart left, thinking that Anthony was going to leave that afternoon, but when he returned, the bags were still there."

"The police had already spoken to Anthony because Rowena was concerned about him. He had not turned up for work and she was worried he might harm himself. She provided information to police on where he might be.

"They [police] tried to persuade him to get him some help.

"He was not at all helpful when they went round. He told them to get lost effectively."

Ms Nicholson then started receiving messages saying he was going to "harm himself". She then informed Mr Tunnicliffe about these messages and he got in contact with the police.

Mr Thomas said Rowena "acted in the best possible way" she could.