A MENTALLY ill Southampton man who accidentally set fire to his home hanged himself days after regaining his independence in a new house, an inquest heard.

Nathan Bedells, 40, struggled with paranoid schizophrenia for 20 years and moved in with his parents after surviving the accident in September, Winchester Coroner’s Court was told.

He was found dead at his new home in Spring Road on February 25, five days after moving in.

The inquest heard how Mr Bedells suffered hallucinations and delusions, but never talked about harming himself.

After the accident, which left him hospitalised, Mr Bedells’ family told the inquest he was keen to become independent.

Relatives had arranged for him to spend three days a week at the new house in Spring Road to try and boost his independence.

His mother, Sheila Bedells, said he was content in the week before his death and had even volunteered to help with the gardening.

“He was bright,” she said. “On the Sunday night he said: ‘We’ll get that garden done’ and he was happy. I was really pleased because I thought everything’s going exactly as we talked about it and planned.”

In the days that followed, Mr Bedells didn’t answer calls or open the door, which his mother said was normal.

But their concern had grown so much that on Wednesday, February 25, they called a locksmith to get into the house, who discovered him dead and called the police.

“I felt we were moving forward and I know that he wanted his independence again,” Ms Bedells added.

“Nothing could have prepared me for this, because there was no indication, not at all.”

Deputy Hampshire coroner Karen Harrold said: “Sadly, it would seem to me that we’ll not know exactly what was in his mind at the time.”

She recorded a verdict of suicide., adding that his psychiatric illness was what led to the death.

Dr Dayson said Mr Bedells may have felt he lost control of his body or developed reactive depression after realising he had “lost time” struggling with psychosis.