A HAMPSHIRE man drowned himself soon after hearing his marriage was over, an inquest heard.

Peter Holmes, 68, walked into the waves at the beach at Barton on Sea in the early hours of Saturday October 27.

His body was found on the beach the following morning.

The hearing was told that Mr Holmes's personality had changed after undergoing major heart surgery in 2013.

His wife Lorraine told the hearing that her husband of five years had become more anxious, depressed and could become violent. Concerned for her personal safety she told him that the marriage was over by phone, whilst staying with her family in Cambridge.

Mr Holmes, a retired environmental health officer, of Waverley Road, Barton on Sea, left his affairs in order, sent text messages to friends and left a will and a suicide note at their home.

Dr Sanjay Jogai, consultant pathologist at Southampton General Hospital, said the cause of death was immersion in water. "He was conscious (when he went in the water) but he hasn't suffered or struggled. It was very quick."

DC Lisa Robins, of Southampton Police Investigation Centre, said there were no suspicious circumstances.

Senior coroner Grahame Short recorded a conclusion of suicide. "Mrs Holmes understandably decided she could no longer carry on living with Peter. I believe that had a profound impact on Peter. At the time he was alone at home. The evidence shows Peter made the decision to take his own life."

Mr Short added: "The last message was sent just before midnight. I find he walked to the beach in the early hours before drowning himself in the sea."