A pub landlord killed himself after he was allowed home on leave from a psychiatric unit.

Colin Noon, 51, was found hanging by staff at the pub he ran with his teacher partner two days later.

The licensee was depressed and feared the Maypole pub at High Hurstwood, near Uckfield, was about to be taken away from him by its owners.

He felt guilty because girlfriend Delia Field was having to work full time as a teacher as well as at the pub, a inquest was told.

Mr Noon was admitted as a voluntary patient to a psychiatric ward at Eastbourne District General Hospital (EDGH) for a month last year.

He was sectioned under the Mental Health Act after there were fears for his safety after he reacted badly to his treatment.

He told staff on October 2 he wanted to go home to get things sorted out but agreed to stay until his case was reviewed three days later.

Consultant psychiatrist Dr Marco Procopio said at that stage Mr Noon was not sectionable and it was agreed to allow him to go home on leave.

Mr Noon returned to the pub with no support from local mental health service teams.

He began drinking on October 8 and was found hanging by barman Alfie Smith later that day.

Dr Procopio said: “A care package was offered to him but he refused it.

“He was not discharged he was sent home on leave. He could have asked for help or come back at any time.”

Andrew Chadwick, a staff nurse at the EDGH who looked after Mr Noon said patients on home leave are now phoned daily to ensure their safety.

Sue Brace, manager of acute services for Sussex Partnership NHS Trust said the trust has reviewed its procedures as a result of Mr Noon's death.

She said: “A protocol has been agreed so that staff are clear about what is expected when people go on leave from hospital.

“This will include the need to communicate the risk assessment and management plan with the patient and carers.

“Teams are to be involved in supporting patients while on leave from hospital.”

East Sussex coroner Alan Craze recorded a verdict of suicide.

Mr Noon's brother Iain said after the hearing: “I think the protocol should be adopted by the trust.

“It is a very positive way forward and if it does prevent another death it will be a bonus.”