A WAITER took his own life just hours after he received a positive test for Covid-19, an inquest heard.

Bolton Coroner's Court heard how on October 14, last year, father-of-one, Shkelqim Paja, 43, was found dead in woodland close to Fold Road in Stoneclough.

The previous day, Mr Paja had collapsed with breathing difficulties and was admitted to Fairfield Hospital in Bury where he tested positive for coronavirus.

Later that evening, Mr Paja, of Wolsey Street, Radcliffe, returned home to his wife and young son, but in the early hours of the morning he drove to the secluded spot.

A walker found Mr Paja - known as 'Jimmy' to his friends - and he was pronounced dead by paramedics at around 8.20am.

Coroner Timothy Brennand told the inquest that Mr Paja was born in the Albanian city of Elbesan and came to the UK more than 20 years ago.

He worked as a waiter in restaurants across Manchester and was married to wife Miranda with whom he had a boy in 2017.

In a moving statement read by Mr Brennand, Mrs Paja described how her husband did not drink alcohol or smoke and would rarely get ill.

But in the week before his death, he began to develop the symptoms of coronavirus and by Tuesday, October 13 he felt so ill he collapsed and an ambulance was called.

Mr Paja was taken to Fairfield General Hospital at around 5pm, but after being examined by doctors and testing positive for Covid-19 he was told to return home and self-isolate.

Mrs Paja said she was "surprised" when her husband arrived home around 9.30pm that evening thinking he would stay overnight at hospital.

The couple went to bed around midnight, but when Mrs Paja woke up her husband was not there and it is thought he left the house in the early hours of the morning.

She described how worried she was and tried to contact her husband who was not answering his mobile phone.

Mr Paja had driven his Vauxhall Insignia to the secluded spot and at around 8am his car was seen by a local woman who then found his body and phoned the emergency services who identified the dead man using a driving licence found in his wallet.

When police officers visited Mrs Paja to inform her of her husband's death, she was "hysterical" and had to be taken to hospital.

"He never showed any signs that he would harm himself," said Mrs Paja."It could be that he ended his life because he was suffering with Covid-19.

"We are still very upset by what has happened, we still cannot believe it.

“He never told me he felt this way. He could’ve talked to me. It doesn’t make sense.”

Doctors who treated Mr Paja said he had been "anxious" about his Covid-19 diagnosis and was "panicky", but there was nothing to suggest he had suicidal thoughts.

No illicit drugs or alcohol were found in his system and he did not leave a note although police officers did find materials in his car that suggested some pre-planning that he intended to harm himself.

Recording a conclusion of suicide, Mr Brennand said: "I draw the conclusion that the deceased, having made a clear, concerted and deliberate decision, unimpaired and not under the influence of intoxication or recent medication, knew that he was about to contemplate self-harm.

"The degree of preparation, the time of day, are all suggestive that this was deliberate.

"Although there was no letter of intent, the deceased's actions speak louder than any words."