A former school librarian killed himself by eating poisonous yew tree leaves after losing his job, an inquest has heard.

Phillip Hall, 38, was found dressed in his pyjamas in the bathroom of his New Malden home in California Road on October 11 last year.

His father and brother were at the hearing into his death at West London Coroner’s Court on Friday, December 5.

Father Alan Hall, who read his son’s diaries after he died, told the hearing: “He must have had thoughts of suicide because he mentioned yew tree leaves in his diaries.

“He had obviously been thinking about it for some months.”

The inquest heard Mr Hall had epilepsy, a history of mental health problems and self-harmed. He had stopped taking his anti-depressants five months before he died.

He had also been assessed for Asperger’s syndrome but was only rated borderline and never had a personality disorder diagnosed.

A month before he died, an angry outburst at a student at the school he worked for in central London led to him losing his job.

However, Mr Hall was expecting new tenants to move in on the week of his death and had been applying for new jobs, the inquest heard.

Speaking after the hearing, brother Robert Hall said: “He was an amazing character and was very into acting and theatre.

“In life he felt that he was not loved but in his death so many people have been in touch. He is very much alive in people’s thoughts. He was very funny and a brilliant librarian.

“I think he struggled with people a bit but then most great men do.”

Mr Hall will put on Lest We Forget Dear Pip, a play about a soldier with mental health problems, in memory of his brother at the Chichester Festival.

Coroner Inyama Chinyere apologised the inquest had taken so long to be heard and ruled Mr Hall had taken his own life through yew tree ingestion.

The Mind charity promotes the views and needs of people with mental health problems. Its helpline number is 03001 233 393.

To get in touch with the Samaritans in Kingston, call 020 8399 6676 or drop in at 12 St Andrew’s Road, Surbiton. Samaritans lend a confidential ear to those in distress.