A GRANDFATHER whose body was found in a river nearly four months after he went missing took his own life, an inquest concluded.

Andrew Latcham had been suffering from a range of mental health conditions for more than three years before he left his sheltered accommodation in Blandford, Assistant Dorset Coroner Brendan Allen was told.

Mr Latcham, 70, was captured on CCTV as he walked out of his accommodation in Park Road, Blandford at 3am on December 30 last year. He left behind his keys, glasses, mobile phone and wallet.

He was reported missing the following morning by his son, Richard, and was immediately classed as a high risk missing person.

The Bournemouth inquest heard Mr Latcham was very familiar with the River Stour and had once mentioned to family members that he knew of someone who had taken their life in the river.

Mr Latcham’s sister, Melanie Coward, told the inquest: “When we were told that he had gone missing we knew he had gone into the river. It was a question of when we would find his body. He felt that he had nothing to give any more. He felt that he was making life difficult for the rest of the family.”

Mr Latcham’s disappearance sparked a huge police search in difficult weather conditions. The river was very high and there had been considerable rainfall in the days leading up to the search.

Police used all-terrain vehicles, examined CCTV, used drone units and searched homes, gardens and buildings. Underwater sonar searches were also carried out.

Mr Latcham’s body was discovered on April 19 in the River Stour near the Charlton Inn at Charlton Marshall.

He was formally identified using dental records. A post mortem examination was carried out but the cause of Mr Latcham’s death remains unascertained.

Recording a suicide verdict, Mr Allen said: “There was no evidence of any third party involvement in Mr Latcham’s death. He felt he was not useful to those he loved.”

The Samaritans can be contacted on 116 123, or via email at jo@samaritans.org