A MAN sent his wife to pick garden peas before shooting himself, an inquest was told.

William Hunt, a retired engineer, died of gunshot wounds on Thursday, August 24, at his home in Harrow Lane, Himbleton, near Droitwich.

The inquest at Kidderminster Town Hall was told yesterday that the 65-year-old had suffered from depression before his death and had received medical treatment as a result.

"His son had been killed in a motorcycle accident two months earlier," said Worcestershire coroner Victor Round.

He said Mr Hunt and his wife had picked peas in the garden prior to the shooting, and then sat together in their conservatory.

"Mr Hunt asked her to pick some more peas, but after she had picked a dozen or so, she heard a loud noise from inside the house," said Mr Round.

Mr Hunt was discovered dead in his study with a gunshot wound in his left lower chest.

He had talked about committing suicide on several occasions, Mr Round told the inquest.

He recorded a verdict that Mr Hunt took his own life.