A PENSIONER’S death in York’s River Ouse remains a mystery after a coroner said it was impossible to decide whether it was an accident or suicide.

Dorothy Hagyard, 83, was one of five people to drown in the city’s rivers during a tragic three-week period in April.

An inquest into her death heard that she was a fit and active person - enjoying activities such as line dancing - and was looking forward to events such as her granddaughter’s wedding, and had no known mental health problems.

But early on Friday, April 12, the widow drove to Clifton Bridge and entered the water wearing her pyjamas, and her body was spotted shortly afterwards by a CCTV operator in the river near Ouse Bridge.

The inquest was told there were no suspicious circumstances and no notes were found in her car or home.

Coroner Rob Turnbull, recording an open conclusion, said he found it a "quite puzzling" case and he could not be satisfied that either accident or suicide was the cause of Mrs Hagyard’s death.

He said she had had "sadness in her life" with the deaths of her husband and brother but that had been some time ago, and she had been enjoying life, and had apparently been fit and well, up until her death.

“She apparently led an independent life,” he said. “She had no medical problems and no history of mental health problems, and yet on April 12 she was found in the river.”

He said he found it "strange" that she was found in her pyjamas.

Detective Sergeant Toby Forsdyke said there was no sign of a disturbance at her "clean and tidy" home, and nothing was out of place or missing.

He added that police did not find a note in the home or the car, which they would have expected if someone was taking their own life.

Mrs Hagyard’s GP, Dr Christopher Hirst, said in a statement that she had no record of mental health problems.

The inquest heard that Mrs Hagyard had enjoyed activities including bowling and line dancing, and had endured successful surgery to her nose because of cancer in 2016 with stoicism.

A neighbour, Debbie Robinson, said in a statement that she had "exchanged hellos" with Mrs Hagyard earlier in the week.

The inquest heard there was no sign of injury, other than a bruise to an ankle, and a postmortem examination showed that the cause of death was drowning.

The spate of river deaths in April prompted the family of one of the victims - Sonny Ferry, 19, from Rutland, who drowned in the Foss during a night out in the city centre - to launch a campaign to raise £45,000 to buy a new state-of-the-art craft for York Rescue Boat, which has now raised more than £20,000.