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Daphne Harrison from Faversham died in sea at Seasalter near Whitstable

A depressed mum-of-two who took her own life by walking into the sea was carried out of the water by her husband.

Daphne Harrison, 67, drove to Seasalter beach, near Whitstable, on a Sunday afternoon in December.

An inquest at Archbishop's Palace in Maidstone was told that Mrs Harrison, of Station Road in Faversham, had a long history of depression dating back to her teenage years.

Tributes to Mrs Harrison were left at the scene
Tributes to Mrs Harrison were left at the scene

In a statement read to the court, Mrs Harrison's husband Nigel said: "She displayed signs of depression when we were first courting, though it was not diagnosed at the time."

Mr Harrison explained how his wife had travelled to the same stretch of beach on two previous occasions, apparently with similar intentions.

He said: "Around a year ago, Daphne drove to the Sportsman Pub in Seasalter. Luckily, she was found - she was in her nightdress."

On another occasion a couple of months before her death, Mrs Harrison drove again to Seasalter but was on that occasion found "shivering and cold" by her husband.

He said: "The depression had been gradually getting worse - she had not been to work."

A statement from Mrs Harrison's doctor detailed her long history of depression, which had regularly been treated with medication.

She had last visited her GP on November 12 with her husband, saying she felt she may need to take time off work.

Her doctor said: "She worked hard as a carer and was living at home with her husband, son and son's girlfriend, when I last saw her.

"She was enjoying her work but she was not sure she was able to manage it. She was given a prescription and also a leaflet with details of counselling services, but said she did not want to use this."

A tribute left at the scene in Seasalter
A tribute left at the scene in Seasalter

On December 9, Mr Harrison drove his son to Canterbury before ringing his wife to let her know he was going to work on his boat at Oare Creek.

"I returned home at about half past noon," he said. "Daphne wasn't at home. I noticed the car was missing."

Following the two previous incidents, Mr Harrison had kept his wife's car keys on him - thinking they were the only set.

"I spoke to my son who said I'd better check the beach, which is where she had been on the last two occasions."

He drove to Seasalter, where he found his wife's car car parked by the sailing club.

"Around half-a-mile from the Sportsman Pub, I saw Daphne in the water," he said.

Mr Harrison carried his wife out of the water. Police were called, but Mrs Harrison was pronounced dead at the scene.

The cause of her death was given as "immersion in water". A post-mortem found she had no alcohol or drugs in her system.

Recording his conclusion, coroner Alan Blunsdon said: "Mrs Harrison had a long history of depression and that was being treated at times by medication which we heard she would sometimes stop taking.

"She also admitted attempting to take her own life on at least one other occasion. Her coat was found in a position that would imply she had walked into the sea rather than had fallen or jumped in and on the evidence we've heard that would appear a deliberate act by Mrs Harrison, on a very cold day in December.

"I can be satisfied on the balance of probability that on this occasion, Daphne Harrison intended to, and succeeded in taking her own life."

If you would like confidential support on an emotional issue, call the Samaritans on 08457 909090 at any time.

You can also find information and support here.

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