Oxford

Woman found in River Cherwell 'had mental health problems'

Lorraine Easom Image copyright Thames Valley Police
Image caption Lorraine Easom was last seen in Summertown on 8 March

A woman who was found in a river almost three weeks after going missing had a history of mental health problems, an inquest has heard.

Lorraine Easom, 55, was last seen by a neighbour near her home in Harpes Road, Summertown, Oxford on 8 March.

Police began to search the River Cherwell six days later.

Ms Easom's body was found in the river off Water Eaton Road, close to her home, on 28 March, 17 days after she was reported missing.

Assistant coroner Sonia Hayes said there were internet searches on her computer found after her death that related to suicide, as well as asking "how to become a missing person".

She concluded that Ms Easom had taken her own life.

Image copyright Family picture
Image caption Sophie Haines said her mother's mental state had deteriorated before her death

Ms Easom had a history of depression and anxiety, and had been previously diagnosed with bipolar disorder, the inquest in Oxford heard.

Her daughter Sophie Haines said in a statement her mother was "fragile" and her mental state had deteriorated before she went missing.

She said Ms Easom had been drinking heavily, eating very little, and said she felt "worthless" and "did not deserve to live".

In January she was prescribed an anti-depressant but became paranoid and convinced she was going to be sent to prison, the court heard.

Ms Easom, who was known as Claudia, was prescribed an additional anti-depressant and referred to an alcohol treatment service after attending an emergency appointment with a mental health doctor on 6 March, the coroner was told.

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