A gay man, who suffered from depression since the death of his partner, killed himself with a drug overdose, an inquest heard.

David Bray, 59, was found dead at his flat in Clarendon Road, Hove, by a friend.

Four suicide notes were addressed to family and friends.

A post-mortem examination revealed he died of a fatal overdose of medication prescribed for a heart condition.

Lesley Shepherd, of Chatsworth Road, Brighton, who had known Mr Bray for almost 20 years, told the hearing how he had suffered since the death of his partner and had made threats to commit suicide in the past.

She said Mr Bray, who died in November, had not wanted to face another Christmas alone.

She told the Brighton hearing: "He was not happy since his partner died six years ago. He suffered from loneliness and the problem of losing his friend did not go away."

Mr Bray telephoned Ms Shepherd at midnight the night before she found his body. He had been drinking.

She said: "He said he would see me tomorrow."

When she visited his flat and got no answer she called the police.

Officers forced the door and found him dead.

A suicide verdict was recorded at the Brighton hearing.