A DOCTOR treating an unemployed telesales man for depression was unaware his patient was storing up anti-depressant tablets so he could kill himself.

James Baker, 49, left a suicide note absolving Redcar GP James Bentley from blame.

Police found the letter beside Mr Baker's body after they broke into his house in Charlotte Street, Redcar. Also present was a large number of anti-depressant wrappings.

Mr Baker had been dead for at least a week when he was found last November.

An inquest heard on Wednesday that neighbours had alerted Cleveland Police after not seeing him for several weeks, at first assuming he was on holiday.

His daughter, Sarah Louise Richardson, told the hearing: "He had gone through stages of depression. He seemed to be all right, as if he was pulling himself together. He was upset about different things; he was splitting up with his girlfriend and he was feeling quite lonely."

Dr Bentley, of the Coatham Road surgery, said that on a visit last August Mr Baker complained of "the usual symptoms of clinical depression" and was prescribed Dothiepin.

"At no time was there any suggestion he was feeling suicidal," he told the inquest.

Deputy Teesside Coroner Gordon Hetherington said: "Although I don't intend to read the notes that were left, there is one passage which I think is relevant: 'My doctor bears no blame at all. He thought I was taking the tablets'."

He recorded a verdict that Mr Baker killed himself