A RETIRED railway worker committed suicide by drowning himself in his own bathtub, an inquest has heard.

Percy Paine, 86, of Rudheath Close, Crewe, was found fully clothed and face down in a bath full of water on September 15 last year.

The inquest into his death, held in Crewe last week, heard that Mr Paine swallowed between five and ten white tablets and wrote a suicide note before using a towel as a pillow to lie in the bath.

Mr Paine had been discharged from hospital on September 13 following a nine-day stay for shortness of breath, loss of appetite and bladder problems.

Community support worker Edna Moyle said that Mr Paine was "down in the dumps" on leaving hospital, and two days later, his body was found when Wulvern Housing's mobile warden Pamela Palin alerted the police.

Mrs Palin was unable to gain access to the house, but could see Mr Paine's slippers through the letterbox.

When she called back later, she could still see the slippers, and the police were called to break into the property.

On entering the house, Mr Paine's body was discovered fully-clothed and face down in the bathtub, and the suicide note was found in the lounge.

The inquest heard that Mr Paine was a very private and independent man who did not admit to having any family.

Although care workers revealed no evidence of psychological illness, Assistant Deputy Coroner for Cheshire Robert Hunter said that the towel, tablets and suicide note were indirect evidence of his intent to commit suicide.

A post-mortem revealed that Mr Paine had probably died before the tablets had been ingested.

Mr Hunter said: "By all accounts, Mr Paine was a very independent person who was very private and did not admit to any next of kin.

"He did not talk much about his personal life but enjoyed reasonable health.

"There is no evidence from care workers that he ever suffered depressive or suicidal ideas, but we have to keep in mind that he was a very private person.

"I am satisfied that he died by his own actions, with the towel as a pillow, the tablets in the stomach and the suicide note detailing his intent.

"I am satisfied that he died by his own means, and my verdict is that Percy Paine took his own life by drowning."