A WIDOW has told an inquest how she pleaded with her estranged husband to think of their children in the hours before he killed himself in woodland.

The resumed inquest into the death of Colin Harding on August 2, 2015, heard statements from both his wife and lover, who urged him to tell them where he was.

The 39-year-old went missing on July 31 three years ago and sent a string of text messages to his wife, Emma Harding, saying "life was a rollercoaster and it's time I got off."

The worrying messages sparked a police hunt for the father-of-two, who was traced via a police Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) system in Colne, Lancashire, when his car was spotted in the area.

Greater Manchester Police stopped him on the Junction 22 eastbound sliproad of the M62, however, coroner Philip Holden, explained to the jury that a communication breakdown between West Yorkshire Police and the neighbouring force meant Mr Harding was allowed to go on his way.

One officer who stopped him on August 1, 2015, said the warehouse operative, from Gwynne Avenue, Thornbury, "was calm and not showing any signs of distress or upset."

However, his body was found in Wood Nook, Denholme, by a runner at 9.30am on August 2.

In the two days leading up to Mr Harding's death, his wife and other members of the family had spoken to West Yorkshire Police call handlers eight times.

Mrs Harding told the inquest she initially phoned police on July 31 because she was concerned about her husband's behaviour.

She had asked him to leave the family home two months previously because of his affair, and told the hearing his behaviour had changed prior to then by becoming more emotional and starting to smoke again.

The inquest heard Mrs Harding drove around Bradford looking for him on July 31, but she did not hear from him again until the following day when he told her police had 'boxed him in', but they were not holding him.

In a series of messages, Mr Harding told his wife: "I can't come back from this.

"I've lost all my energy.

"I'm past help. I can't see a way out."

She told him to think of their daughter and to come home and give her "the biggest cuddle you can."

Lousie Edgley, his lover, also pleaded with him to come home.

She said she loved him, but his body was found the next day.