THE widow of a man who committed suicide said her husband fully intended to take his own life, an inquest was told.

Ryszard Gagola was found slumped at the bottom of a tree in Savernake Forest on October 17, 2006.

He had hanged himself from a branch of the tree and was surrounded by rope, pill packets and two empty whisky bottles.

The 49-year-old of Exmouth Street, Swindon, was due to start a new life in Latvia after his wife Anne Cullis left him in March 2006.

The inquest, held at Trowbridge Coroner's Court, was told that Mr Gagola had also taken a knife to the forest.

Ms Cullis said: "It is my belief that he absolutely intended to take his own life.

"He had arrived with all the tools to do that - the rope, prescription drugs, whisky and knife just in case one method didn't work. He planned it very carefully and he knew what he wanted to do."

His body was discovered by two dog walkers. It was thought he could have been there for a day.

His journal and a letter were found in his backpack but were not addressed to anyone.

The letter was not read out at the inquest but deputy coroner Peter Hatvany reported that Mr Gagola was depressed about the breakdown of his marriage, the death of his parents years earlier and problems stemming from childhood.

"He finished the letter with I want to go now'," Mr Hatvany said.

Mr Gagola, who was a Polish-born writer, had already tried to hang and stab himself on the same day in 2004 but both attempts failed when Ms Cullis dialled 999.

Speaking of her estranged husband's mental state, Ms Cullis said his moods bordered on psychotic.

She said: "I thought I could cope with it but I couldn't.

"On that day in 2004 he told me he had tried to hang himself. He was practically psychotic and very anxious - I thought I could look after him over the weekend and take him to the doctor on Monday but a little later I heard him call for me again. He had stabbed himself with a kitchen knife."

Friend and neighbour Kevin Bailey described Mr Gagola as having a brilliant mind.

He said his death had come as a shock because, although clearly depressed, his mood had improved in recent months.

Mr Bailey, a former psychologist, said: "The person I knew in 1995 when we first met was always a very lively and jolly man. Although that person never fully went away, he changed, especially in the last year of his life."

The deputy coroner recorded a verdict of suicide.