An “intelligent and fun” pensioner who believed he was the victim of a building scam killed himself, an inquest heard.

Colin Raymond Juffs, of Woodhouse Road in North Finchley, was found dead in his house on July 27 last year.

An inquest at North London Coroner’s Court was told today that the 65-year-old had last been seen seven days earlier by a neighbour.

When his sister, Paula, was unable to contact him, she and her partner Lynn travelled to his house from their home in York.

On entering his home, they found a table pushed towards the door, on which lay his passport and identity documents, a pile of papers relating to his estate and funeral costs, which he had already paid.

There was also a suicide note addressed to his sister.

In the note, the retired computer analyst explained he had been conned by his builder after trying to get his chimney repointed, and the costs had risen over time to £297,000 to fix other issues in the house.

He detailed the rising costs and the “clever” way he had been scammed - each job required another for the whole to be completed, but he “finally snapped” when the £172,000 job had another £125,000 added after he had sought a new mortgage to pay for it.

He wrote: “I really could not see the job getting finished in my lifetime and therefore I have taken the selfish way out.

“I thank you and Lynn for all your support especially in the last few weeks. I am sorry it has ended this way. I will love you always.”

The London Ambulance Service arrived at Mr Juffs’ house after 10pm on July 27.

They could not determine an accurate time of death, but senior coroner Andrew Walker said Mr Juffs’ death, though it may have taken place close to July 20, would be recorded as July 27.

Paying tribute to her brother, Ms Juffs said: “We were so close. I knew in my heart something was wrong so we came down.

“He was so intelligent and fun.

“I want this to be publicised because this could happen to anyone. People can be conned no matter how sensible they seem.”

She also thanked PC Benjamin Eynon and PC Rachel Ryan for their support during the investigations.

Senior coroner Andrew Walker recorded a conclusion of suicide.