A DEPRESSED grandmother whose body was found floating in a South Yorkshire lake told her sister just hours before her death: "There is nothing for me but the pond."
Patricia Fieldsend, aged 79, of Upper Hoyland Road, Hoyland, Barnsley, was found fully-clothed in Milton Pond, a mile from her home, on a freezing March morning by passers-by.
An inquest heard she had been receiving treatment for depression for six years before her death.
Her sister Ella Quilty told the hearing that, on the afternoon before her death, Patricia was very low.
"She was very upset and told me she had a lot of worries," said Ella.
"She told me she never saw her granddaughter Rachel, whom she loved, and that her husband Harry was going to leave her to live with his niece. She said there was nothing left for her but the pond."
Patricia was being treated for her depression at Kendray Hospital where she was a day patient. Psychiatrist Dr Kamul Ahmed said she lacked motivation to do simple things like cook, clean, watch television or even to eat or drink.
He told the inquest he had asked Patricia if she ever had suicidal thoughts. She replied she did but said she would never take her own life as it would upset her family too much.
When asked how she would do it she replied: "I would drown myself in the pond." Dr Ahmed wanted to admit her to the wards but Patricia refused. Because she was not demonstrating an immediate risk of harming herself he had no powers to section her under the Mental Health Act.
He asked her husband Harry if he would support him in forcing her to stay in hospital but Mr Fieldsend refused because it might upset his wife.
Mr Fieldsend said he hid the house keys every night when he went to bed because he feared his wife would go out to drown herself, but on the night of her death he had forgotten to take them out of the back door.
When he woke up she had gone, and Mr Fieldsend feared she may have travelled to Elsecar Reservoir.
When he was unable to find her there he frantically headed for another local pond before police told him her body had been found.
Sheffield coroner Chris Dorries recorded a verdict that Patricia had taken her own life.