OAP ‘feared for his future’

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A PENSIONER died after filling his pockets and backpack with scrap metal and getting into the Erewash Canal.

An inquest heard that 76-year-old Kenneth Reddish was ‘anti doctors’ and feared hospitals or ending up in a care home.

His body was found in the canal off Lock Lane, Sandiacre, on March 11 this year.

The retired bricklayer’s sister, Joyce Hibbs, told police that Mr Reddish had found out he had a prostate problem and was recovering from a bad bout of flu in the weeks prior to his death.

In a statement read out by Paul McCandless, Deputy Assistant Coroner for Derbyshire, she said: “Ken started having problems in 2008 but refused to go the doctors.

“He was very stubborn and had an aversion to doctors and always said he would not be seen by a doctor or go into hospital or a home.”

Suspicions were raised when a resident contacted police about a car which had been parked for more than 12 hours on Lock Lane. The boot was open and doors unlocked.

Officers ran checks on the vehicle and as a result visited Mr Reddish’s home. When he was not in they contacted his sister and after speaking with her she confirmed she had not seen or heard from her brother and that he had been depressed. Officers launched an immediate search.

Pc Catherine Nightingale, the officer in charge of the police investigation, told the court that Mr Reddish’s pockets and bag were full of metal and that he was still clutching his glasses when his body was recovered.

A post mortem, carried out by Dr David Green concluded that the cause of death was immersion.

Dr Green said: “There was no evidence of drowning but immersion would have occurred when cold water hit a nerve that runs at the back of the throat, causing the heart to stop. It would have been a sudden, rapid death.”

Another extract from Mrs Hibbs’ statement said: “I’m shocked about what has happened.

“I can only wish Ken would have opened up to me or seen a doctor but that was not his way.

“He always said he did not want to end up in a hospital or a home, I guess he got his way by taking his own life.”

Deputy Assistant Coroner, Paul McCandless recorded a verdict of suicide.