Drowned man had picture of late wife

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AN elderly man was carrying a picture of himself and his late wife when he drowned in the River Derwent.

Thomas Smedley, of Dungreave Avenue, Darley Dale, was found by the ‘Nanny Goats’ crossing near his home on April 24 this year.

North East Derbyshire Coroners’ Court heard how the 78–year–old’s wife, Shirley, passed away from bone cancer in 2004.

In April neighbour Joan Blackham visited Mr Smedley and found him in low spirits.

She said: “I said to Thomas ‘what’s the matter?’ ”

“He said, looking through his kitchen window, ‘I can’t do anything. I can’t get into my garden. I know how deep the water is at Nanny Goats.”

The following day, Mr Smedley was missing from his home.

The door to his house was locked and the key had been pushed through the letterbox.

The police were called and officers found his body in the river.

He had no personal items on him except some change and a picture of himself and his wife.

Coroner Nigel Anderson returned an open verdict.