Man had suffered with depression

A Kings Langley man who was found in the canal at Red Lion Lane, Nash Mills took his own life because he was suffering from a depressive illness, the coroner ruled at an inquest in Hatfield this week.

"I feel that with the support and care he had and the consideration he had from others that without that illness he would not have taken his own life" said Hertfordshire coroner Mr Edward Thomas, on Tuesday.

After a post mortem examination by pathologist Aidan Patrick O'Reilly, the cause of death was given as cardio-respiratory failure and freshwater immersion (drowning) with clinical depression as a contributing factor.

The man was Louis Paul Tinworth, 48, of Friarswood Cottage, Chipperfield Road, Kings Langley. He had been a caretaker at the Rudolf Steiner School, Kings Langley.

Mr Thomas told how on Sunday morning, March 25 a couple walking their dog on the towpath from Apsley towards Kings Langley had seen what they at first thought was a jacket in the water.

They called the police at 8.50am. Scenes of crime officers and CID attended and the Fire Brigade recovered the body.

A report from DC Kim Woodgate told how she was already at the scene when Herts Constabulary received a call from Mr Tinworth's widow, Lynn, who was concerned that she had awoken to find her husband and family car, a grey Citroen Xantia, missing.

The car had been found, unsecured, in Red Lion Lane and containing medication and letters in Mr Tinworth's handwriting.These were not read in court.

Mr Thomas explained that after removal from the water, the body had a rope around the legs attached to a concrete breeze block.

Mrs Tinworth had said Paul had been depressed for a number of years, had had treatment, and had worsened in the last 18 months.

He had recently had keyhole surgery for gallstones at Hemel Hempstead Hospital and had blood tests, but still feared he was very ill.

Those blood tests were subsequently shown to be clear.

On the previous day he had spent most of the day in bed saying he was not very well.

He spent a few hours with the family but at 9.30pm went to bed saying he was still not well.

He slept in a separate room so as not to disturb the family when he could not sleep. Next morning Mrs Tinworth had found him missing.

His GP Dr Corina Ciobanu of Haverfield Surgery, Kings Langley, confirmed Mr Tinworth had a depressive illness which he had tried to overcome, but he also had a number of medical problems.

A toxicology report from Professor Steven Morley of Sheffield Hallamshire Hospital confirmed Paul had taken his medication at normal levels and nothing else.