A MAN drowned after he fell in a river and was swept away.
A Huddersfield inquest heard yesterday that Elland man Roderick Bailey may have fallen in the River Calder after having a dizzy spell.
A verdict of accidental death was recorded on the father-of-one.
Mr Bailey, 55, of Bryan Road, was found in the water near the Yorkshire Water treatment works at Earlsheaton, Dewsbury, on February 15.
Assistant deputy coroner James Turnbull said he believed Mr Bailey had become dizzy from a recent head injury and fallen in the river.
Mr Bailey's wife of 35 years, Frances, said her husband had had several top jobs in transport in Kenya and Malawi during the 1970s and 1980s.
When they returned to England in 1990, Mr Bailey could not find similar work and took several less challenging jobs until last year.
Mrs Bailey said her husband searched constantly for jobs in his professional field, taking fortnightly trips to London to find work.
He had been suffering from dizziness and blackouts, but would not seek help. He was also treated for depression, but never showed suicidal intentions.
Mrs Bailey added: "Roderick would sometimes become frustrated, and on occasions he would drink.
"He always came home and talked things through. There have been several occasions when he has fallen when I know he had not been drinking."
On February 6, Mr Bailey told his wife he was leaving for London at 6.40am. She went to her teaching job, but the next day received a call saying her husband was in the Calderdale Royal Hospital, Halifax, with head injuries sustained during a mystery fall.
He suffered some confusion and was given antibiotics for pneumonia.
Mr Bailey wanted to discharge himself on February 9, but was only released on February 11.
He left before Mrs Bailey arrived to collect him and did not go home.
She assumed he had gone to London, as he had planned before his accident.
He was found dead four days later by birdwatcher John Hamilton.
It is not known where Mr Bailey fell in the river, but Mrs Bailey said her husband loved to be near water and would often go to the Calder near Elland to watch wildlife.
A post-mortem examination, which showed the cause of death was drowning, revealed Mr Bailey had a blood clot on his brain from the fall on February 6.
Pathologist Dr Patricia Gudgeon said this could have caused long-term brain damage.
A neuropathologist also told her it could cause dizziness.
Dr Gudgeon found superficial parallel scratches on Mr Bailey's wrists, which could have suggested self-harm.
But Mr Turnbull said the scratches were not proof he had considered taking his life. He also said staff at the Calderdale Royal had acted correctly when discharging Mr Bailey.