A pensioner whose body was found in the River Thames 12 days after he went missing took his own life after having concerns about his health, an inquest heard this week.

Joseph Arthur, from High Wycombe, went missing on April 16 after he was last seen at the Spade Oak Pub, in Bourne End.

Lengthy searches were conducted for the 82-year-old at the Bourne End Marina and beyond, with his body being found at the marina on April 28 by a staff member.

An inquest into his death today (Wednesday) heard that Mr Arthur had called his friend Jon Jordan on the 16th and left him a voicemail saying he was by a river – he did not mention which one – and wanted to take his own life, asking Mr Jordan to give his daughter Hazel his love.

The court heard Mr Arthur had become worried about his health and had possibly self-diagnosed himself to have dementia, even though it was not clear whether he was in the early stages of the condition, and had decided that he did not want to live with it.

Giving evidence, DS Anderson said police received a call from Mr Jordan just after 6pm on the 16th saying he had received the voicemail from Mr Arthur.

Mr Jordan said he was unable to take the call as he was at work and did not see it until later.

Following a search of Mr Arthur’s flat, which he shared with a lodger, police found two notes saying he was concerned about his health and wanted to take his own life, as well as a MacBook which showed a map of Bourne End, leading police to scour the river from Bourne End to Cookham for several days.

Staff at the Spade Oak confirmed to police that Mr Arthur had been in there for a meal and drink before he went missing, and CCTV showed him near the pub at the time.

DS Anderson said it was clear from the notes and voicemail left that Mr Arthur entered the river with the intention of taking his own life, adding that his actions were “clear and deliberate”.

The medical cause of death was found to be drowning and assistant coroner Anne Davies ruled a conclusion of suicide.

Mr Arthur leaves behind two children, Trevor and Hazel, and three grandchildren.

For confidential support in the UK, call the Samaritans on 116123, email jo@samaritans.org or visit a local Samaritans branch. See samaritans.org for more details.