The boyfriend of a teenager who took her life in woods near Wimborne told her inquest he was lost without his soul mate.

Amy Latham, 18, who had just finished her A-levels at QE School, was found hanging at Catley Copse, near the town, on July 1 this year.

Coroner Sheriff Payne was told that she was worried about her exams and her future and was also concerned about losing her driving licence after being caught speeding.

Amy was living with her dad Graham in Walford Gardens; her mum Sue lived in Sturminster Marshall, as the couple had separated.

A major police search was launched when she went missing, the day before her death, and several notes were found in her bedroom, DI Joseph Williams, of Dorset Police, said.

A post mortem confirmed that there was no alcohol in Amy's blood, but there was evidence of cannabis use, although it was not a contributory factor in her death.

Boyfriend Ryan McClelland, fighting back tears, told the inquest that Amy was a “happy, carefree and loving individual”.

But he said he had noticed a change in her; she had told him that she was hearing voices in her head and thought that nobody cared about her.

Mr McClelland added: “She was convinced that she was a boring person with no hobbies. When I was with Amy I could tell that she was becoming depressed.”

A month before she died, he said, she told him that she was going to kill herself, but he thought he had convinced her not to.

They met up the day before she disappeared - he messaged her the next day and she replied to say: “I want you to know I love you and I'm sorry for wasting your time.”

That was the last contact they had.

Mr McClelland said that they had previously taken cannabis, MDMA and a legal high, which she told him had “messed her up”.

He added: “I'm lost without Amy; I thought I had found my soul mate.”

Under questioning from the coroner, Mrs Latham said that Amy had not indicated that she would commit suicide.

“I felt it was no more than usual teenage angst of perhaps having just sat through her A-level exams and perhaps wondering what she wanted to do and a bit of trouble with her boyfriend, but nothing unusual,” she said.

Mrs Latham added that “if anything, she talked more positively about what she wanted to go and do”.

Recording a verdict of suicide, the coroner said: “It's very sad when someone of her age decides to do this.”

During the inquest, Amy's mum Sue told of her achievements as a child, including being the first girl Beaver Scout in Sturminster Marshall, where the family lived, being the youngest Cub to take an adventure trip to Switzerland and signing up to a dance school, playing for the under-16s at Bournemouth Rugby Club, sailing at Parkstone and snowboarding.

She has got mostly 'A' grades at GCSE and was planning a gap year before going to university.

Mrs Latham told of Amy's love for music and festivals and said she was “intelligent” and “beautiful”.

In a statement released after the hearing, Amy's family said: “Amy was a very bright and kind person who positively touched the lives of many people.

“Her loss has left a huge hole in our family; she will always be remembered with love and is sorely-missed.

“The police were unrelenting in the search for her and we would also like to extend our gratitude for all the support we have had from friends and family, it has been very much appreciated.”