Man discovered his wife in frozen West Yorkshire lake - inquest

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A husband discovered his wife's body in a lake at a West Yorkshire park, an inquest opening heard.

John Harris had been searching for his wife Susan, 57, when he spotted her body in the lake at snow-covered Pontefract Park.

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An inquest opening at Wakefield Coroner's Court heard how Mrs Harris

had been suffering from low moods and depression.

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The court was told Mr Harris had last seen his wife at 8am last Wednesday at their home in Banks Avenue, Pontefract.

Coroner's officer Anthony Lancaster said Mr Harris was unable to get to work because of the bad weather and returned home to find his wife was not there.

After searching for her in Pontefract town centre, Mr Harris went to the park, where he found her body.

A member of the public had also seen her body in the lake and contacted police just before 10.30am.

Police divers recovered Mrs Harris from the water and she was taken to Pontefract General Infirmary, where she was pronounced dead just after 12.30pm.

Provisional results of a post mortem examination, carried out by Dr Craig Sayers at Pinderfields Hospital, revealed the cause of death as drowning and hypothermia.

West Yorkshire coroner David Hinchliff adjourned yesterday's inquest for further enquiries.

* Wakefield North West Neighbourhood Policing Team is warning members of the public about the dangers of frozen ponds.

PCSO Chloe Mansfield said: "People of all ages should stay off frozen ponds and waterways as you can never be certain about the thickness of the ice or the weight that it is capable of supporting. We are urging people to avoid frozen areas of water and ensure that pets are kept on leads too."

Kathy Grogan founded STOP (Start Treating Others Positively) nearly 30 years ago.

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