The man who was found dead at Gosfield Lake died from natural causes, a coroner has ruled.

Paul Rust, 58, from Saffron Walden, was found in the lake, off Parkhill Road, on June 3 and was pronounced dead at the scene.

His inquest was held on Friday at Chelmsford Coroners’ Court.

Alan Clemence, coroners’ officer, said: “Mr Rust had been recently diagnosed with depression on May 29 and had only been on medication for four days.

“His partner believed he had been suffering with depression for a lot longer that this.

“On June 3, he got up in the early hours, leaving his partner in bed.

“This was out of character and so the partner called the police as they were concerned for his safety.

“Mr Rust’s car was found by Gosfield Lake, in Halstead, and he was found face down in the water.

“There were no suspicious circumstances and he was confirmed as dead by the ambulance service at the scene.”

A note had been left in the passenger seat of his car, which read that he will always love his partner and he was sorry he had to leave in this way.

A post mortem examination gave the cause of death as cardiac arrhythmia - an irregular heartbeat - as well as immersion in water and a coronary artery atheroma, or fatty deposits on one of the heart’s arteries.

These health issues would have weakened his heart and so he would have died quicker when in the water.

Coroner Eleanor McGann, HM area coroner, said that due to these health problems, which he may not have known that he had, she could not record a verdict of suicide.

“If he had died from drowning I would have concluded suicide,” she said.

“But he did not die from drowning.

“How can I say for definite that if he hadn’t have had these health problems he wouldn’t have changed his mind and walked back out of the water.

“Drowning in water is very difficult and I am not satisfied that he might have changed his mind so I cannot be satisfied so that I am sure that he committed suicide so I am not recording a verdict of suicide.”

She gave the verdict as death due to natural causes.

She added that it was “good to see” so many of his friends and family at the inquest and hoped they had a lot of happy memories of Mr Rust.