Inquest of river death pensioner

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A PENSIONER who was found in the River Derwent had recently been discharged from Cross Lane Hospital, an inquest heard.

Patricia Blundle, 77, was found by police officers on February 18 after she had been reported missing from her daughter’s home the previous night.

During her inquest at Scarborough Rugby Club, Coroner Michael Oakley heard that shortly before her death Mrs Blundle had been discharged from Scarborough psychiatric hospital Cross Lane.

Mrs Blundel’s daughter Amanda Matsoukas told the coroner her mother had moved from her cottage in Westow, between Malton and York, to live with her in the neighbouring village of Howsham, following an episode.

She said: “My husband went to pick her up one morning and found her lying on the floor. He dialled 999 and she was taken to Yorkshire Hospital. She saw a psychiatrist who said Cross Lane was the best place for her.

“She puzzled the doctors, they didn’t know exactly what was wrong with her except she appeared very upset and demonstrated psychiatric symptoms.

“She calmed down when she got to Cross Lane, so we took her home to look after her and it was agreed a psychiatric nurse would come out to see her. She wasn’t on any medication.”

Mrs Matsoukas said the day before her mother’s death they had been out walking by the river. She said her mother was staring in to the river then turned to her and said: “I wish I was brave enough”.

Mrs Matsoukas said: “I just said ‘don’t be silly’. She had never said anything like that before.”

Mrs Matsoukas confirmed her mother could walk well and could swim.

After hearing the evidence Mr Oakley said: “The evidence does not fully and beyond all reasonable doubt disclose that she intended to take her own life. It is quite possible that is exactly what took place. I recognise that she was able to walk and she knew how to swim, however I do not have sufficient evidence to record a verdict that she killed herself, so I shall record an open verdict.”