THE devastated partner of a former soldier found hanged near the river at Tuckton has paid tribute to "the best daddy in the world."

Rebecca Clark spoke of Aaron Sanson's battle with mental illness and said their two children have now been told daddy has gone to live with the stars.

Aaron, 24, was found dead on Saturday, five years after being diagnosed with schizophrenia.

And 23-year-old Rebecca said his death was something she had always feared.

"It was always in the back of my mind. He kept himself together for the kids but I could see he was struggling" she said.

"There is not enough support for people with mental illness. He had no point of contact that he could ring when he felt bad.

"He needed someone independent to talk to. He had family and friends but we're not trained and didn't always know what to do for the best."

Aaron,a former pupil of Winton School in Bournemouth, did an apprenticeship in engineering before completing an Army preparation course at Kingston Maurward College.

He joined the Army but had only been with the Rifles for six months when he was diagnosed with schizophrenia and medically discharged.

Rebecca, who went to Avonbourne School, said: "That was a really big blow to him but we got on with life, had two lovely children and hoped everything would be all right."

She said Aaron was a very hands-on dad to Leah, three, and one-year-old Obi and added: "His kids were his absolute world - he would have moved heaven and earth for them.

"We didn't have much material stuff but we had each other and he loved us."

Aaron had recently taken up Airsoft, a team shooting sport in which players shoot their opponents with plastic projectiles from replica air weapons.

Rebecca said he had many good friends and thanked them for their support.

The family lived in Hamilton Road in Boscombe, where Aaron was also well-known for helping people in the community.

Anyone who needs support or advice in relation to suicide is urged to call the Samaritans on 116 123. Alternatively, there is Childline (for children and young people under 19) on 0800 1111