A FORMER Barrow soldier took his own life after the breakdown of his marriage, an inquest was told.

Father-of-five James Wren, 31, was found hanged on May 15 this year at his mother's house, where he had been staying since his marriage encountered difficulties.

The inquest heard that Mr Wren had joined the King's Own Border Regiment at the age of 17 and had made two tours of Iraq and one tour of Northern Ireland during his five years of military service.

His mother Katrina told the inquest her son's decision to join the Army was a "very brave one" as he had suffered from anxiety in his early years and that he had been deeply affected by the suicide of his father when Mr Wren was aged five.

The court also heard that Mr Wren had suffered traumatic experiences while serving in Iraq including one incident where a close colleague was fatally wounded during a patrol.

However, a report from Cumbria Partnership NHS Trust read out in court noted that the break up of his marriage was the major issue which had affected the ex-soldier.

"Relationship problems were the root cause of Mr Wren's death and they compromised his ability to deal with stress," the report said.

His mother told the court he had been in what she described as an "intense relationship" with Kelly Waite for 12 years.

The couple, who lived in Barrow, had married in 2012 and had five children.

However, the marriage ran into severe problems and the trust report said after his wife intimated in January this year that she wanted to end the relationship, Mr Wren had moved to his mother's home in Old Hutton, near Kendal.

Shortly afterwards he had seen his GP and had been prescribed medication to combat stress and depression issues.

In April, Ms Waite moved to Norfolk, taking the children with her, and on the weekend prior to his death Mr Wren had travelled there to see the children.

However, on his return, his mother said she was concerned about his mental state, and that concern was heightened when on May 15, the electrical company where he was employed rang to say he had not arrived for work that morning.

She was in Ulverston at the time but immediately returned home and discovered her son's body.

Recording a verdict of suicide, Cumbria area coroner Kirsty Gomersal noted the tragic nature of the case and expressed her sadness that Mr Wren's five children had lost their father.

She also praised the courage of his mother in attending court and delivering a detailed statement on Mr Wren's life and the events leading up to his death.