A man who stabbed himself in the heart emailed a friend just minutes earlier to tell him his corpse could be found at his home.

Martin Randall alerted the police when he received the email from 42-year-old Barry Peck.

An inquest on Tuesday heard Mr Peck had been getting employment advice from Mr Randall and was due to have an appointment the day he died on Monday, January 13, this year.

In the email Mr Peck sent at 8.45am he said: “Call the police. They will find a corpse. Doors are unlocked.”

He was pronounced dead at 9.15am, minutes after police arrived at his second floor flat in Abbey Parade, Merton High Street, South Wimbledon.

Officers found Mr Peck lying in the hallway after opening the unlocked front door.

A kitchen knife was found next to his body.

Senior coroner Fiona Wilcox heard from Dr Michael Heath, who carried out the postmortem examination, that a seven centimetre stab wound to the left of his chest was found, as well as extensive haemorrhaging to the chest cavity.

Dr Wilcox heard Mr Peck, born in Roehampton, lived alone and had a history of depression dating back to the 1990s.

Medical history read out detailed a diagnosis of multiple sclerosis and a previous suicide attempt in 2010, as well as excessive alcohol intake and anti-depressant prescriptions.

The court heard following his previous suicide attempt in August 2010, he was referred to the community mental health team and discharged in October of that year.

A note was found by police officers in Mr Peck’s kitchen which read: “I’m sorry, please forgive me”, with the ‘I’m sorry’ crossed out.

In conclusion, Dr Wilcox said: “He took his own life while intoxicated with alcohol.

“I would like to pass my sympathy to the family for the loss of their son and brother.”