A SOUTHAMPTON woman appeared to be making plans for the future soon after a suicide attempt, an inquest heard.

But instead Michele Harman, 66, drove to a remote spot near Emery Down in the New Forest and drowned herself in a stream.

The inquest in Winchester heard that she had attempted suicide by drowning in the River Itchen at Mansbridge on April 12.

In a statement Dr Victoria Osman-Hicks, consultant psychiatrist at University Hospital Southampton, said Mrs Harman told her she was "happy to be alive" but she assessed her suicide risk as medium, and high unless she received psychiatric help.

But Dr Osman-Hicks said she was reassured to hear her on the phone making plans with friends.

Appointments were arranged for Mrs Harman to attend Antelope House mental health unit the following week but she never attended.

Mrs Harman, of Macnaghten Road, Bitterne Manor, may have been in the stream for four days until she was discovered by a runner Edmund Newman on April 20.

She had been married three times and was the mother of a 34-year-old son with learning disabilities who she saw four times a week.

In a statement her cousin and next of kin Garry Flint said she had said she had a dysfunctional childhood and struggled with mental health issues.

Notes were found at her home indicating her clear intention to end her life.

Senior Coroner Grahame Short recorded a verdict of suicide. He said: "It is a very sad end to someone whose life appeared to have so much potential at various times."

Members of her family attended the hearing but did not wish to comment.