A father sent "deeply concerning" messages to his family in the hours before he was found dead in a reservoir, an inquest heard.
Ian Jeffrey was found in the water at Holden Wood Reservoir by a man on a fishing trip on the morning of Sunday, December 16, 2018.
A hearing at Burnley Magistrates’ Court heard that the 56-year-old had sent messages and letters expressing his worries about a tax credit issue and his own depression to his loved ones prior to going missing.
A post-mortem examination gave the cause of his death as drowning.
The inquest heard from detective inspector Tim Brown who said belongings were left at the waterside including a note wrapped in plastic.
He said: “There were no apparent injuries or suspicion of violence or third party involvement.
“We had information from family members that notes had been left by him.”
Mr Jeffrey’s son, Alex, told the court he had seen his father the night before and there was ‘nothing unusual about the evening’, but that after taking a phone call his father was ‘quiet and distracted’.
He added that his father could sometimes be ‘an over-thinker and a worrier’.
He said: “I woke the following morning to a phone call from my mother. She had received a text from him and the police had already been called.”
The court heard that Mr Jeffrey had been prescribed anti-depressants in 2010 but on his final visit to his GP in March 2015 he said he was no longer taking them and declined a further prescription.
Lancashire Coroner Richard Taylor said: “One thing I cannot do at this hearing is answer why he did it but I think the answer would seem to have been answered in the messages that he sent to you.
“You have my sincere condolences and my sympathy that you have had to relive this at this hearing.”
Mr Taylor recorded a conclusion of suicide.
***Most people who are thinking of taking their own life have shown warning signs beforehand.
These can include becoming depressed, showing sudden changes in behaviour, talking about wanting to die and feelings of hopelessness.
These feelings do improve and can be treated.
If you are concerned about someone, or need help yourself, please contact the Samaritans on 116 123.
The Samaritans operates a 24-hour service available every day of the year.
If you prefer to write down how you’re feeling, or if you’re worried about being overheard on the phone, you can email Samaritans at [email protected]
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