Express & Star

Suicide verdict after pensioner found dead in River Stour

A pensioner whose body was found in a river committed suicide, an inquest heard.


Bernard Thomson, aged 75, went missing on January 31 from his home in Cradley Heath. His body found in the River Stour three days later.

An inquest into his death, held at Oldbury Coroner's Court, revealed he had been known to mental health services since early 2016 and had suffered a breakdown 10 years ago.

The court heard he felt 'inferior' to his friends and the breakdown came as a result of facing redundancy as he neared retirement age.

Coroner David Urperth said: "He suffered from low self worth. He was sad that he didn't do well at school.

"He visited friends who had nice houses and he felt inferior to them. However, he hadn't previously tried to commit suicide."

Officers who had been urgently trying to find Mr Thomson after he was reported missing found his body in the river, while his clothes were in a neat pile near the water by a walker.

Mr Thomson had been admitted to Bushley Fields psychiatric hospital in Dudley during December 2016, where he spoke with doctors about his mental health issues and was prescribed medication.

He was released just before Christmas after Dr Udaya Raj Balakrishna said he believed he saw positive progress in his attitude.

However, when Mr Thomson's wife returned to their home on January 31 expecting her husband to have gone out for a walk, she found a suicide note he had left behind.

A post mortem confirmed that drowning was the cause of death.

Sorry, we are not accepting comments on this article.