CIRCUMSTANCES that led to a pensioner drowning in the River Wharfe remain unclear, an inquest has heard.

Eileen Robinson, of North Parade in Ilkley, was discovered by two dog walkers not far from a sandy area known as Beanlands Island, close to the stepping stones near Denton Road in the town on May 24 this year.

At first, the walkers thought the 89-year-old's body was a mannequin until one of them climbed a tree to get a closer look.

A passing police van was flagged down and the Fire & Rescue Service was alerted to retrieve Mrs Robinson from the water.

She was confirmed dead at the scene.

The Bradford inquest on Friday (July 31) heard how widowed Mrs Robinson had been a carer for her husband, who had dementia and had been prescribed anti-depressants since 2006.

She was on painkillers for a shoulder injury that got her down and was also not looking forward to being 90.

Her doting son, Adrian Robinson, told the inquest how the night before her death they had shared their usual Saturday night pizza and watched TV together.

But the next day when he called round, he found the back door shut but not locked. He saw two glasses on the window ledge outside, one with tablets in it and another with what appeared to be water or lemonade. He also found empty blister packs of paracetamol in the kitchen bin, so he reported her missing to police, who later told him they had found a body in the river.

Mr Robinson said he had not been worried for her welfare when he last left her, although he knew her shoulder pain was getting her "down in the dumps".

He said: "I do feel mum has taken her own life. She did go for a walk to the river a couple of weeks before. She would not usually go there. She might have done it as a reconnaissance."

But he added his mother did have some irrational fears: "When we were children, if we cut ourselves, she would rush round to the neighbour's. She would worry if her blood pressure was up. She was squeamish.

"It would have taken a lot of courage to go into the river and so I have some doubts. She did not leave a note and she was always leaving little notes.

"We had talked about her getting older, she had a fear of it. She said it was just the thought of leaving her family behind, which I think someone not enjoying life wouldn't say. She made me laugh, She was a lovely lady. I miss her."

Coroner Mr Fleming said there were no witnesses to how she died and he could not be 100 per cent sure Mrs Robinson had intended taking her own life, so concluded: "Eileen Robinson was found to have drowned in the River Wharfe. The circumstances as to how she came to be there remain unclear."