A FAMILY has called on the army to do more to help discharged soldiers after a tank transporter driver killed himself a month after being dismissed.

Lee Bentley, 39, suffered from post traumatic stress disorder following tours in Afghanistan. He failed a drugs test in March and was discharged from the army.

A postman found his body hanging from a tree near Carter Barracks, Bulford, on April 19.

An inquest at Salisbury Coroners Court heard Mr Bentley joined the army when he was 17-years-old and was seriously hurt in 2008 following a non-combat injury while serving in Afghanistan.

Returning home, he struggled to battle drink and class A drugs, especially after his father died.

Despite this, he was promoted to Lance Corporal in 2014 and his commanding officer, Major Wolstenholme, described him as a “well liked member of the group”.

Mr Bentley’s widow Maxime said he was a “troubled soul” and never spoke about his problems.

He was always quick to help younger members of the unit and used to invite them to his house for barbecues, she said.

A report by an army mental health expert placed Mr Bentley at a “low risk of suicide”.

Maxime Bentley and Mr Bentley’s mother Lynne questioned the support given by the army. They told the inquest he was scared to reveal his drug abuse for fear of being discharged.

His wife also said the army had kept her in the dark — not informing her that Mr Bentley had been dismissed.

And his mother said: “We all need somebody to reach out to us.”

Colonel Clive Newell said changes had been made after the death and said the army would now direct ex-soldiers to civilian charities.

Coroner David Ridley said he believed that even if the changes had been in place they may not have prevented Mr Bentley’s death. He said the soldier was unlikely to have sought help.

The army said it had helped Mr Bentley while was a serving soldier.

A conclusion of suicide was recorded on Tuesday