A MAN who died in a car fire on Portland had been discharged by mental health services just days before his death, an inquest was told.

Paul Clive Stanley, 72, died in the blaze at an isolated spot on the island near the High Angle Battery on September 14 last year.

At an inquest into his death at County Hall in Dorchester, Dr Sarah Beaney from Hampshire Mental Health Services said Mr Stanley, from Fareham, had been in contact with the service in July last year after suffering from depression due to the breakdown of his relationship with his youngest son.

She said Mr Stanley had been assessed as presenting a ‘medium risk of suicide’.

Dr Beaney said Mr Stanley told her he would wake up heart broken every morning and regularly drove to Portland, where he had grown up, to think things through.

Dr Beaney said medication was prescribed to Mr Stanley and regular follow-up visits and telephone calls indicated that he was improving.

On September 6 she called Mr Stanley, who said he felt stable, was in the process of buying a flat and said he did not want any more follow-ups so he was discharged.

Just eight days later the fire was discovered by Nathan Cornish, of Westmacott Road, Weymouth.

Fire investigator Alun Morgan, who examined the car, said he believed the fire had been started deliberately.

PC Phillip Billington, who also attended the scene, said he was satisfied there was nobody else involved in the fire.

A post-mortem indicated that Mr Stanley had been alive at the time the fire took hold.

No suicide note or letter was found and Deputy Coroner for West Dorset Alan Horne recorded an open verdict.