A CORONER recorded an open verdict yesterday on the death of a pensioner whose body was found in a pond.

An inquest at Richmond Town Hall, North Yorkshire, heard Evelyn Margaret Graham had a history of depression and had psychiatric treatment months before her death.

However, Coroner Geoff Fell said there was no direct evidence to suggest she took her own life deliberately or that her death was an accident, although police ruled out foul play.

Her daughter, Jane, told the hearing at Richmond Town Hall that Mrs Graham led an active life and, although she was 73, was still working as a nurse until last year.

Her body was found in the Clay Hole Pond near Aldbrough St John on January 5, a day after she was reported missing by her family when she failed to return from one of her walks.

Written evidence from the police officer who found her body indicated a single line of footprints in the snow leading to the pond - enough to confirm there were no suspicious circumstances.

Mr Fell said: "What is not clear from the evidence is what happened.

"Mrs Graham may have decided to take a short cut home along a route she had used before but, as there is no evidence to show how she ended up in Clay Hole Pond, I am recording an open verdict."