Open verdict over harbour body find

A WOMAN found drowned on Scarborough’s South Bay beach had not intended to commit suicide, an inquest heard.

Margaret Hird, 59, of Beverley, was spotted lying face down by dog walkers near the West Pier in October last year.

An inquest at Scarborough County Court heard Mrs Hird, a mother of four, had previously made an attempt to take her own life and “just wanted peace”.

The inquest was told she could not swim and a statement was read out from her husband who said her death was “completely out of the blue”.

He said: “She changed from a care-free person to being anxious.

“She made an attempt to self-harm in Bridlington in May when she took an overdose. She just said she wanted peace.

“On the day of her death she had seen her daughter and opened the door to wave at her.

“She seemed fine and had some lunch.

“After that she went to put her coat on and said she was going to our daughter’s but never arrived.

“She had left her phone on the bed and left her donor card.

“We did have a holiday in Scarborough in August and we both really enjoyed it and she seemed relaxed and happy.

“This was completely out of the blue.”

Coroner Michael Oakley recorded an open verdict.

He said: “The circumstances in which she was found and the history relating to her past illness all suggest that this was a deliberate act.

“But I have to be satisfied beyond reasonable doubt that she attempted to take her own life.

“Whilst she had a previous attempt which did not lead to that and while she was treated at the time, there was nothing done, other than the fact she had left her phone and donor card, to suggest this was deliberate.

“The fact she was found in the sea and the cause was drowning does not provide satisfactory evidence she deliberately killed herself.”