A TEARFUL husband described at a Pickering inquest this week how he searched desperately on cliffs in the early hours of the morning for his wife after she disappeared from their home.

Salvador King told the North Yorkshire East Coroner, Michael Oakley, that he and his 36- year-old wife Clare had been married for 16 years but she had developed mental problems following an abortion five years ago.

She became addicted to her medication and shortly before her death had spent a week in a Harrogate clinic.

She had gone to bed at their home at Beach View Caravan Park, Cayton Bay, Scarborough, of which they were proprietors, but he awoke just after 6am to find she had left the house.

Mr King said he discovered from security cameras that she had gone about four hours earlier and had headed in the direction of the steep Cayton Bay cliffs.

He combed the cliff tops but could not see anything, then alerted the police.

A full-scale air and sea search was mounted before her body was found on the beach by her brother-in-law, Ambrose King. He had tried to alert rescue teams by waving his T-shirt.

Mrs Francis Robinson, a neighbour, said: "Clare was a lovely bubbly lady, and Salvador treated her like Dresden china."

She added that Mrs King had looked on her as a mother-figure because she had no relationship with her own mother whom, she had told her, had abused her as a child.

Mrs Robinson said: "I cannot believe that she would commit suicide. She was not suicidal - she must have slipped on the cliff top. She liked life so much, and thought so much about herself and those around her."

Mr Oakley said that medical reports showed that Mrs King had been seen by a doctor two days before her death when she was found to be troubled with "considerable anxiety and panic disorder."

Recording an open verdict, Mr Oakley said Mrs King had died from multiple injuries as a result of the fall last March,from the cliffs. She had taken medication before going to bed and he believed she may have been suffering from its effects and feeling drowsy.

There was insufficient evidence that she had killed herself, he said. "It is a possibility but that's all it is." Mr Oakley added that she may have accidentally walked off the cliffs.