THE heartbroken grandmother of Richard Roberts said their family is “broken” without him, as an inquest ruled he had taken his own life.

Richard, 30, of Mannington Park, a plasterer, died on October 5 last year when he hung himself in a property he had been working on in Mildenhall Way, Penhill.

He had been reported missing two days earlier when he failed to return home from work.

A post-mortem examination found that Richard had died from compression of the airways caused by a ligature with evidence he had taken cocaine at some point prior to his death.

Shirley Roberts, Richard’s grandmother, paid tribute to her “loving” grandson whose death devastated the family.

“We’re a big family and we still haven’t recovered from it. When he left our lives, it left a big hole, I don’t know that we ever will recover. We are broken by this,” she said.

“I know that we will never have all the answers that we want. Richard is the only person that can answer. All we want people to know is that Richard was a much-loved member of our family. He was a much-loved grandson, brother, son, cousin, uncle and father. We miss him every day.”

The inquest heard that Richard had previous issues with depression and drug dependency, which started when he was in his teens.

He had previously threatened to take his own life with one suicide attempt in 2011, following the end of his relationship with the mother of his first child.

His father, Paul Roberts, said Richard had come to live with him shortly after the suicide attempt in 2011, before moving in with his grandparents.

“It was a slow recovery, I don’t think he ever really got over it. By 2013 it seemed like he was getting his life back on track. All he wanted was a family of his own,” he said.

In 2011 Richard began a new relationship with Sarah Titcombe, who he had a child with in 2013. She said the pair had an at-times “turbulent” relationship which had improved in the six months before his death.

“Our relationship was always up and down, up and down. Sometimes he would vanish and take drugs," she said.

“In the week before he died he was visiting me at work, sending me flowers which he had not done before. It was the best we had been.

“On the day he went missing he kissed me. He left me a note saying 'I love you'. We text throughout the day. He said he would be home from work as soon as he could and that was the last text I got from him.

“I tried his phone and it just kept ringing and ringing. Then I reported him as a missing person.”

Dr Claire Balysz, assistant coroner for Swindon and Wiltshire, said she was convinced that Richard had intended to take his own life.

“Richard did this alone in an empty house, which he knew to be empty all weekend. it was not as if he did this when he knew someone would be home and he could be found," she said.

“I am certain that that was what he wanted to do, that he intended to take his own life. My conclusion is that of suicide.”