A HEREFORD man with a history of mental illness drowned in the River Wye, an inquest heard.

Maurice Milne-Redhead, aged 67, of St Martins Street, was found dead near Victoria Bridge in May.

A rescue mission was launched from Hereford Rowing Club after his clothes were found near Greyfriars Bridge and a man was seen floating in water.

But the emergency services were unable to prevent Mr Milne-Redhead's death and his body was recovered a mile away from where his clothes were left.

Mr Milne-Redhead was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia, and suffered its symptoms, including auditory hallucinations, throughout his adult life.

The inquest heard how he appeared to be content for most of his life and had made many good contacts in Hereford.

He became unhappy with his medication in January, 2005, after suffering side effects including weight gain.

His medication was changed at the beginning of February, 2005, but he became dissatisfied with it by the middle of March.

Mr Milne-Redhead, who had become an inventor since his retirement, then became adamant that he did not wish to continue treatment.

By this time friends and family noticed a deterioration in his heatlh. They were concerned that he was becoming increasingly obsessed with his own delusional thoughts, including his belief that he would die violently.

He also admitted that he talked to people about his thoughts in too much detail, and was said to have been obsessed with constructing meanings from Biblical words.

Before his suicide Mr Milne-Redhead, a former dustman with Westminster City Council, left a note to three friends thanking them for their kindness after he moved to Hereford from Wales.

Deputy Coroner Mark Bricknell recorded a verdict of suicide.