A LONER who signed a suicide pact with his ex-lover died in woodland three days after a failed overdose attempt, an inquest heard.

Brendan Hughes, 37, suffered from multiple sclerosis (MS) and told a number of people he was contemplating suicide in the months before his death.

His body was discovered near Salisbury Racecourse, in an area known as Hare Warren, 500m from Coombe Nurseries Caravan Park on April 4, 2016.

Mr Hughes's ex-partner Catherine Brown, 44, of Jubilee Close, Westbury, was arrested on suspicion of assisting with a suicide, but was released on bail.

Salisbury Coroner's Court heard today that Mr Hughes had developmental issues and struggled to interact with others.

His mother, Eunice Saunders, said he had witnessed a horrific accident in Swindon as a child, which changed his attitude and behaviour. He started smoking cannabis when he was 17, before entering into a relationship with Ms Brown in 2004.

Mrs Saunders said Ms Brown was controlling, and family members stopped talking to her son because of her.

Mr Hughes was diagnosed with MS in 2013 before his relationship ended and he was "forced" to move into Alabaré housing.

One resident, Louise Francis, said that he "was a bit of a loner", and wasn't someone who smiled much.

The court heard that he told housemates on separate occasions that he was suffering, and in "a lot of pain" because of his condition, before asking one friend: "Should I kill myself?"

Ms Brown travelled to Salisbury by taxi and booked into the City Lodge Hotel with Mr Hughes on Thursday, March 31, 2016.

The pair were directed to Coombe Nurseries Caravan Park the following day, but were refused lodging.

Father and son Brian and Richard Hayter, who run the caravan park, told the court that Ms Brown claimed she had no money, before she walked off with Mr Hughes down a nearby path.

The Hayters were then interrupted during dinner two days later on the Sunday when a distressed woman appeared on the CCTV.

According to Brian Hayter, Ms Brown said "help me, I am lost", and was acting as if she had taken drugs.

The police were called and found "a lady acting weirdly".

PCSO Jemma Atkinson said: "She was very distressed and I could see that she had cuts.

"The conversation was all over the place, and she kept referring to hay bales."

When Ms Brown said her belongings were with her boyfriend the officers became concerned for his safety.

A paramedic arrived, and Ms Brown said she and Mr Hughes had taken a large number of tablets each, as part of a suicide pact, "as they hated their lives".

PC Sally Amos arrived and interviewed the visibly distressed woman who said they had walked for two to three hours after being refused a caravan on the Friday.

After reaching a point in the woods, the pair took tablets, in the hope that "they would reach heaven together".

But the attempted overdose failed, and on seeing her ex-partner sleeping, Ms Brown decided to "get refreshments".

Ms Brown took two days to reach the caravan park, which was just 500m away, and suffered three fits during that time.

Police and search and rescue volunteers scoured the woods for Mr Hughes the following day, and spotted his sweater on an “extremely muddy path”, before finding his body.

There were several packets of tablets on the ground.

Mr Hughes did not respond to any of the attending officers when questioned, and was pronounced dead at 1.13pm.

A post-mortem examination was unable to determine the cause of death, but suggested that the tablets were not of significant strength to cause instantaneous death.

Recording a narrative conclusion, assistant coroner Ian Singleton said that there was no evidence to say Mr Hughes had been resistant or forced into taking the tablets, and added that there were no marks on his body from a struggle.

He ruled that his cause of death was unascertained.

No further action will be taken against Ms Brown.