A 50-YEAR old woman who suffered from depression was found dead by her partner in their home on September 14 this year.

Shirley Steel, 50, was found by her partner Paul Etherington at the bottom of the stairs at their home on Rawmarsh Hill, Parkgate. She had hanged herself.

Concluding the inquest at Rotherham Coroner's Court, Coroner Stanley Hooper read a statement from Ms Steel's next door neighbour Georgina Johnson.

In the statement, Ms Johnson said that Ms Steel and herself had become good friends over the last year and often shared a drink in Ms Steel's garden during the summer months.

Ms Johnson said that she thought Ms Steel drank quite regularly and used alcohol as a crutch.

She would often talk about going to sleep and not waking up again when she had had a drink and would also talk about hanging herself at the bottom of her garden.

On the last occasion they saw each other, on the day of her death, Ms Johnson said Ms Steel, who had suffered from breast cancer and had blamed herself for her mother's death two years ago, had told her she could not cope with Christmas this year.

Ms Steel, who had been prescribed tablets for her depression and had not been eating properly, then left her home to visit her brother on his birthday and had spent the evening drinking with some of her family at his home.

She returned to her home and was found by her partner, Mr Etherington, who had gone to bed early because he worked long hours.

Mr Hooper recorded a verdict of suicide.