An unemployed gardener desperate for work killed himself after he was left "demoralised" by hours of form-filling at his job centre.

Greenock-born Martin Hadfield, 20, was so keen to get a job he refused to claim any welfare handouts and applied for 40 posts in the space of three months.

But he failed to get responses on almost every application after being undercut on wages by younger and more inexperienced candidates. According to his family his period out of work and government red tape left him feeling "put down with no self worth".

Just 24 hours after a meeting where job centre staff invited him to a "follow-up" meeting, Mr Hadfield, who moved south as a young boy, was found hanged at his flat in Tottington, near Bury, Greater Manchester.

Yesterday,following an inquest into his death his stepfather Peter O'Gorman, 47, a car valeter, said: "Martin was obviously never a statistic to us but in the last months of his life he became a statistic to other people."

Martin's mother Annie O'Gorman, 50, a former prison officer said: "Martin was just a regular boy and he just didn't think to talk to someone about what he was going through. It was just a tragic moment of madness."

Recording a verdict of suicide, coroner Simon Nelson said: "Martin was clearly very highly thought of, fine attributes indeed."