Clowbridge Reservoir suicide inquest — (This is Lancashire)

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This is Lancashire

By Helen Korn

6:20pm Tuesday 20th November 2007

A PENSIONER drowned herself after becoming worried about “many little things”, including a rash on her back, an inquest heard.

Freda Kemp, 76, of Bacup Road, Rawtenstall, was discovered lying face down in Clowbridge Reservoir by a passer by on June 6.

Emergency services were called along with a team of police divers, who brought her from the water.

Two bus tickets to the reservoir were found in her bag.

Mrs Kemp’s daughter, Sharon Watts, told Burnley Magistrates Court how her mother was a “worrier” and had been overly-concerned about many little things, including a rash that had appeared on her back.

Mrs Watts explained how her mother had already tried to overdose on a few occasions while on the psychiatric ward at Rossendale General Hospital because she was depressed.

On one of those attempts, she almost died.

Freda’s husband had passed away in 1982 and in 1984 she had moved into sheltered accommodation.

Mrs Watts said: “On one occasion she was at A&E because she had had diahorrea, but she had actually had an overdose, which I was unaware of.”

More recently, Mrs Kemp had been a patient on ward 22 at Burnely General Hospital, where she was regularly visited by her daughter, who said she had seen a definite improvement.

“I wasn’t aware she was coming home on June 6, but I was worried because I knew I wouldn’t be there. I phoned her and she was already at home – I thought she was coming home at the weekend.”

Occupational therapist Helen Graham was with Mrs Kemp on her last day and described how she was looking forward to going home and had been making plans for the future.

“She was ready and waiting for me to take her home. When we got to her house she said she would like to go out for a walk because it was such a lovely day. I intended to pick her up at 4pm.”

Mrs Watts added: “She left a note saying she was at the reservoir. When she was a small child she lived with my great grandmother who lived at the reservoir that’s why she went there.”

Dr Abdul Al-dawoud, East Lancashire’s consultant pathologist, carried out a post-mortem examination on June 8.

His toxicological report showed traces of antihistamines and anti-depressants in the blood, but no natural diseases.

Coroner Richard Taylor said: “I get a picture of a very determined lady who has suffered mental health problems.

“I think sadly, she was down about something, she just wanted to get out of the hospital.

“I think the evidence points to the fact that she did take her own life.”

He gave his verdict of death by drowning.

Clowbridge Reservoir is situated to the east of the A682 between Burnley and Rawtenstall.