A love triangle among nurses at Southampton General Hospital ended in tragedy.

Nurse Matthew Hills died of overdose of drugs obtained from work two days after telling his girlfriend he was having an affair with a work colleague who was four weeks pregnant with his baby.

The hearing was told Mr Hills, 27 who lived with his girlfriend Sophie Mae-Lawson at Home Field Drive, in Nursling, had been having a seven month affair with fellow nurse Jade Clarke.

The inquest heard how all three of them worked as nurses at Southampton General Hospital.

A letter from Clare Hurley from Dorset Health Care, said Mr Hills had a 10 year history of depression and anxiety and referred himself on July 21 and was assessed a day later.

She said due to stress caused by difficulties in his personal life he sought counselling, he told her he had low self esteem and did not feel good about himself.

Giving evidence, Mr Hills' partner of two years Sophie-Mae Miss Lawson described him as loving, funny with a good sense of humour.

But she said he became ‘distant’ and added he told her about his relationship with Jade Clarke two days before his death.

Miss Lawson said he had given her a note, when he told her about his relationship with Ms Clarke and she then asked him if he intended to harm himself, to which he said no.

She added they had an argument and she was going to see his parents but he refused to go with her, and when she arrived back home she found him lifeless and died later at Southampton General Hospital.

In a statement Miss Clarke told how she was four weeks pregnant with his baby and they had spoken about it together and planned to speak to Miss Lawson about it on July 29.

But on that day she she received a text from Mr Hills saying: “You don’t know how sorry I am.”

Miss Clarke then tried to call Mr Hills several times following the text, but Miss Lawson later answered his phone saying: “He’s killed himself.”

Pathologist Dr Vipul Foria concluded Mr Hills died from a drug overdose.

Coroner Grahame Short recorded a verdict of suicide and described Mr Hills death as a ‘tragedy’.

Mr Short said: “It is clear that Matthew had a history of depression and he was taking anti-depressants. It is also relevant that he was a qualified nurse and worked at Southampton General Hospital and had access to drugs used in the hospital.

“It is clear he started another relationship and it is inevitable that led to problems, particularly when Miss Clarke became pregnant.”

He added: “I believe that Matthew found himself in a personal situation that he could not cope with and he had to make a choice he could not face and there was no way out.”

After the hearing a spokesman for the hospital paid tribute to Mr Hills.

He said: “Matthew was a valued member of the emergency department nursing team and our thoughts and sympathies remain with his family, friends and colleagues following his tragic death.

“This has been a very difficult time for everyone associated with him and we will continue to support them all in any way we can.”