A FORMER Bournemouth taxi driver shot himself through the heart after building a wooden frame which he strapped to his chest to aid his suicide, an inquest heard.

Abdelaziz Djefaflia made holes in the frame, one of which allowed him to point an air rifle directly at his heart, Dorset Coroner Sheriff Payne was told.

Algerian national Mr Djefaflia, 50, is believed to have died instantly after pulling the trigger at his flat in Malmesbury Park Road, Bournemouth, in February this year.

A post mortem examination revealed he died of a gunshot wound to the chest.

The Bournemouth inquest heard friends had not seen him for several days and entered his flat, with the help of his landlord, where they discovered his body on February 23.

Friend Yazid Boukerdoun said Mr Djefaflia had suffered from mental illness for many years.

The coroner was told that Mr Djefaflia worked as a maths teacher in Algeria, Kuwait and France before moving to the UK to study.

He managed a hotel in Boscombe and worked as a pizza delivery driver and taxi driver in Bournemouth for several years.

Detective Sergeant Alan Marks told how Mr Djefaflia left a suicide note, personal papers and several thousands of pounds in cash in his flat.

He said he was found on an air bed, which was covered with a sheet. Bin liners had been placed at the side of the air bed and he had tidied his flat. It is not known where he got the .22 calibre air rifle from.

Recording a verdict that Mr Djefaflia took his own life, Mr Payne said: "It would appear that he very carefully planned his own death.

"He had constructed this wooden device which he strapped to his chest with a particular hole to position the air rifle over his heart."

The inquest heard Mr Djefaflia was buried in Algeria.

For confidential help 24 hours a day, all year round call the Samaritans free on 116 123? or visit samaritans.org.