A RETIRED policeman took his own life, a coroner has ruled.
Hartlepool man Christopher Scales, 58, was found hanging by his wife, Ann, at their home in Hartville Road on Saturday.
Town coroner Malcolm Donnelly said Mr Scales had suffered from a painful knee as a result of an injury he had sustained five years ago.
This had caused him "increasing distress, which led to depression and he had suffered from constant pain from it" and he was taking medication for both conditions.
The inquest heard that Mrs Scales had no cause for concern when she left her husband at their home address at 2pm on the day he died.
But when she returned at around 8.30pm she found him in their garage, "with a ligature around his neck," said Mr Donnelly.
The emergency services were called and he was pronounced dead an hour later.
The inquest heard that no suicide note was left and Mr Scales "gave no indication that this was something that he was going to do".
Mr Donnelly added that it came as "a complete shock" to his family.A post-mortem found that Mr Scales' cause of death was cerebral anoxia due to hanging and police had ruled that there were no suspicious circumstances.
He added: "It's fairly clear that Mr Scales was the author of his own misfortune.
"He didn't leave a note and he was found in the locked garage - he didn't want to be found. He intended the consequences of his actions."