DEBT advice groups warned of a big rise in people with depression and anxiety after a coroner’s court heard how a businessman whose firm had failed killed himself.

West Oxfordshire Citizens Advice Bureau manager Barbara Shaw said: “We are seeing more and more people who you would consider to be the ‘squeezed middle’ getting into financial difficulties.”

She was speaking after Oxfordshire coroner Darren Salter recorded a verdict that Carterton businessman Jamie McIntyre, 46, took his own life.

Mr McIntyre’s body was found on January 14 by his wife Lindsey after she heard two bangs upstairs and assumed he had dropped a box in the loft. The father-of-three had killed himself with a shotgun at their Gamer Close home at about 1.45pm.

He left two notes.

Mr McIntyre had not been himself since his lighting firm, Abacus Supplies, went into liquidation, and had taken a job at Tesco, the inquest heard.

In a statement, Mrs McIntyre said: “The debts were mounting, people were unable to pay their bills, leaving Jamie with their debt.”

He had spoken of a “fresh start” and had been offered the chance to stay in a cottage on his parents’ farm, she said.

“Jamie appeared to seem low, not himself. He wouldn’t go out and kept himself to himself.”

On January 2 he drove into the back of another motorist, who then instructed a solicitor to sue him for whiplash, she said.

“Money worries resurfaced when he received this letter,” said Mrs McIntyre, adding: “I had no idea he wanted to hurt himself.”

Dr Christine A’Court, of Broadshires Health Centre, said Mr McIntyre had told her in December he had been “increasingly low” for the last two months.

He had occasional suicidal thoughts and was prescribed anti-depressant Fluoxetine and asked to consider talking therapies.

Recording a verdict Mr McIntyre took his own life, the coroner said it had been an “extremely tragic and disturbing” time for the family.

Mr McIntyre, an RAF technician in the 1980s, founded networking groups Abacus Events and Witney Big Breakfast.

Barton Citizens Advice Centre joint manager Suzy Drohan said demand for debt advice had risen 50 per cent this year.

Anyone wanting to talk can call the Samaritans on 08457 90 90 90.