A HAMPSHIRE doctor who went missing earlier this month died of a wound to his heart, an inquest opening heard.

Last week police found a body in the search for Dr Peter Rider Betts, a retired consultant paediatrician at Southampton General Hospital. He had been reported missing from his Compton Down home on October 14.

A report from pathologist Dr Hayley Burnley states the preliminary cause of death as an incised wound to the right ventricle of the heart. No further details were given.

Tributes have been paid to the 76-year-old, who initially split his time between Royal Hampshire County Hospital in Winchester and Southampton General Hospital before moving to the latter permanently in 1989.

Dr Derek Sandeman, medical director at University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust, said: “Peter Betts was an inspirational paediatrician who worked here for more than 20 years, led the development of paediatric and child protection services and was a key figure in the development of the unit.

“He also established a centre of excellence in paediatric endocrinology and diabetes and was recognised nationally and internationally for his skills and expertise. He will be well to known to many staff members and impacted massively on many children and their families.

“He was a gifted teacher and mentor and was loved by everyone."

Senior coroner Graham Short adjourned the full inquest to February 10, 2020.