A FIVE-YEAR-OLD boy discovered the decomposed body of a man missing from his home for more than two months following a search in Hampshire.

David Horsford was found hanging in a bush just 50 yards from his home despite a huge search spanning two counties.

An inquest heard Mr Horsford went missing from his home on the morning of Saturday, April 16.

But he was not discovered until the little boy, who was out with his mum, crawled into a gap at the bottom of the hedge intending to make a den on June 20.

The boy’s father said he was aware Mr Horsford was missing due to a number of press appeals which had been issued in a bid to find him.

Assistant Dorset coroner Richard Middleton heard police checked areas including Lymington, Hamworthy Lake, Cobbs Quay, Upton Country Park, Wareham, and Poole Harbour.

Mr Horsford’s wife, Marguerite, told officers he had once mentioned that he may kill himself at the former Crown paints factory near their home in Samson Road, Poole.

Officers searched the factory, but not the perimeter, which includes the hedge.

The inquest heard Mr Horsford, a 67-year-old retired electrician and boat enthusiast, had suffered from anxiety and sleeplessness in the run-up to his death.

He was worried about his wife’s health and was “petrified” he would be placed in St Ann’s Hospital. Mrs Horsford voiced concerns about healthcare received by her husband.

She described him as a “kind, gentle and happy man” and said he had an “infectious smile that would brighten your day.”

Addressing the little boy’s family, she added: “I am so terribly sorry you had to experience this and I hope you have not suffered because of it. My husband would be horrified and would not have wished this on anyone.”

Recording a verdict that Mr Horsford took his own life, Mr Middleton said: “I do not feel there have been any failings by the medical professionals.

“Mr Horsford was found in a quiet place where he was unlikely to be discovered to carry out a planned action. He clearly did not wish to be found. I find there were no failings on behalf of Dorset Police at all.”