A Labour town councillor took her own life in her back garden after a long battle with depression, an inquest heard today (April 6).

Rachel Foakes died at the age of 53 in Chipping Norton on November 28 last year.

The inquest, which was held in Oxford, heard she was found by her husband in the garden shed.

READ MORE: 'A huge disruption': Oxford to Didcot railway closure causes travel chaos

Mrs Foakes sat on Chipping Norton Parish Council and worked as an author.

Over the course of a 30-year career, she wrote more than 80 books that catered to a wide range of age groups.

She studied at Oxford University and took on the role of news editor of Cherwell, the student newspaper.

Her husband, Andrew told the inquest: “I had three children with Rachel, I knew her for 40 years and we were married for 26 years.

“Rachel was a beautiful person, and we shared our whole lives together.

“Rachel was a super mum all through that time.”

Oxford Coroner’s Court heard that Ms Foakes had a ‘history of depression’ that first presented itself in 2009.

She had suffered a number of mental health crises since but had recently come off the anti-depressants that she had been taking.

Ms Foakes presented herself to Oxford Health, the NHS mental health trust, on November 23, the inquest heard.

Lisa Atkin, a registered mental health nurse for Oxford Health, said: “Rachel was referred to the team after a deterioration in her mental health.

“She was assessed on November 25 and presented as severely depressed.

“She described thoughts of taking her own life.”

But it was decided that Rachel would not be admitted into the hospital for treatment and would remain on a community programme, the inquest heard.

It was deemed that there was no immediate threat to her life and that she had responded well to community-based treatments in the past.

READ MORE: Emergency services rush to incident at River Thames near Osney Bridge

Mrs Foakes was placed on a ‘step up’ programme which involved daily calls from a mental health nurse to check on her wellbeing.

Senior coroner Darren Salter told Oxford Coroner’s Court that the case showed no significant failing on the part of Oxford Health.

He said: “It is important to remember that we are now dealing with the benefit of hindsight.

“Step up had been put in place and there was a previous pattern before with evidence that a community based approach would work.”

Mr Salter came to the shortform conclusion that the death was a suicide.

He added that there was evidence that the act had been committed by Mrs Foakes with no party involvement and that the intention was to take her own life.

For support with mental health, contact the Samaritans on 116 123 or visit www.samaritans.org.

In a mental health crisis you should contact the emergency services by calling 999 or call 111 for the 24/7 Mental Health Helpline.