A PRISONER who was found hanged in his cell could have been dead for eight hours before staff found him, an inquest has heard.

The jury at Warrington Coroner’s Court were told that David Corrigan, who was born in Hartlepool, had left a suicide note and killed himself at Risley prison, Warrington, less than a month after his wife had told him she wanted a divorce in April 2011.

The 27-year-old had met Susan Corrigan through her brother, who was in prison in Doncaster with Mr Corrigan, after seeing a picture in the cell and asking if he could write to her.

Following a "stormy" two-year relationship, Mr Corrigan was sent to Risley for breaking his probation conditions when he received a solicitor’s letter regarding divorce proceedings.

He had previously told his wife he was in Doncaster prison for assaulting someone outside a nightclub.

Prison staff described a "considerable amount" of blood in the cell as Mr Corrigan had tried to cut himself three times before hanging himself using his bed sheets.

He had been on anti-depressants but was not on a list of inmates who needed to be monitored regularly overnight.

The inquest continues.