AN 80-year-old who was found dead in the Mersey after leaving notes for his family took his own life, a coroner has concluded.

Gordon Barlow, a retired gardener of Marsh House Lane, died some time between Sunday, March 10 and Monday, March 11 after walking into the Mersey near Howley Lane and drowning.

A hearing at Warrington Coroners' Court on Wednesday heard he only had one episode of reported depression in 1993 and before his death there were no signs to suggest he would do anything out of the ordinary.

In a statement after his death, Gordon’s family said: "To our loving husband and dear father Gordon John Barlow, who sadly passed away on March 10.

"May God's blessing be with you.

"We all love and miss you dearly, and will see you in the resurrection.

"Rest in peace."

The coroners' court heard how on March 10, Gordon had enjoyed a normal day and in the evening said he was going to have a bath.

After some time, no one was able to find him in the house and outside, Gordon had moved his car so the bins could easily be placed at the front of the house.

Senior Coroner for Cheshire, Alan Moore, told the court how Gordon had left notes in the living room with detailed instructions for his family.

One told them which day to put the bins out.

Gordon had also locked the front door and posted his keys back through the letter box and one of his walking sticks was missing.

A police sergeant on duty that evening stated that Gordon's disappearance was categorised as high risk because of the apparent preparation he had made to not return home.

It was explained that Gordon's walking stick was found close to Warrington Rowing Club in Howley Lane by police and a body was discovered nearby at about 5am.

There were no suspicious circumstances surrounding the death and no third party involvement.

Coroner Alan Moore, concluded: "I find that it is more likely than not given the evidence, in particular the detailed and lengthy and precise notes, that Mr Barlow intended to take his own life and did so by placing himself into the Mersey."