A DETENTION officer based at Weymouth police station was found hanged from a tree house in his garden, an inquest heard.

West Dorset deputy coroner Alan Horne told the inquest that Andrew Blackwell, 37, suffered with anxiety and depression and had been receiving counselling after he revealed he had been a victim of physical and sexual abuse as a child.

Dr Kit Stone said that Mr Blackwell had problems dealing with paedophiles at work because it brought back past memories.

Acting Sergeant Mark Creasey told the inquest at Dorset County Hall that officers attended Mr Blackwell’s address in Thornicombe near Blandford on March 14 after they received a call from his two friends claiming he was hanged from a tree house.

Sgt Creasey said: “When we arrived, Mr Blackwell was lying on the grass. He still had a blue rope around his neck and there was an aluminium ladder resting against the tree.

“His two friends had seen him the day before and they had agreed to attend that evening when they found him and cut him down.”

Pathologist Dr Mark Deverell concluded that the cause of Mr Blackwell’s death was hanging.

The inquest heard how Mr Blackwell attended numerous hospital and doctor’s appointments where he had expressed suicidal thoughts and was taking anti-depressant medication. Mr Horne recorded an open verdict where the cause of death was hanging.