A SUCCESSFUL writer who enjoyed an active and varied retirement died in hospital after deliberately taking an overdose following failing health.

Dorothy Clough, 88, from Carleton, died in Airedale General Hospital on September 30 last year, less than 24 hours after taking 54 paracetamol tablets, an inquest in Skipton heard.

A post-mortem examination revealed the cause of death as coronary artery disease and paracetamol toxicity.

Ms Clough, who had become increasingly anxious about her declining health, left notes to family members outlining her reasons for taking an overdose and after-life care, the inquest heard.

Assistant coroner Jonathan Heath, recording a suicide verdict, said he was satisfied Ms Clough had taken her own life and that the paracetamol would have likely contributed to her death from coronary artery atherosclerosis.

After leading a very active life well into her 80s, Ms Clough's health had begun to fail, making her anxious and restricted to the house. She had never before shown any inclination towards suicide and never been recorded as a suicide risk.

Ms Clough, who left a son, had been a worldwide reporter, had lived in Spain for part of her life, and had been a member of the Land Army. She had also become an advanced motorist in her later years.