A “caring” mother told her sister she was planning to kill herself hours before she died, an inquest heard today.

Christine Critchfield, of Hillside Avenue, Borehamwood, hanged herself in the shed at the bottom of her garden on June 7 this year.

The 55-year-old had a long history of depression and regularly drank alcohol to numb the pain.

Hatfield Coroners Court heard today how Mrs Critchfield had 177mg of alcohol in her body on the day she died – twice the drink drive limit.

She did not leave a note – but she did email her sister on the morning of her death and said: “I am going to die today”.

Dr Paul Saint-John Smith, of Fairbrook Medical Centre, said he found her to be a very “sad” person who had problems with self image.

But community psychiatric nurse James Smith, who visited Mrs Critchfield every few days, praised her dry sense of humour.

He said: “She enjoyed reading and took great pleasure in her son’s success.”

Concluding that Mrs Critchfield took her own life, Coroner Edward Thomas said: “This is so tragic.

“She sounds like such a nice, considerate and caring person.”