A ROWLEY Regis man whose body was found at Netherton Reservoir after a police search took his own life, a coroner has ruled.

Michael Stacey had waded into the water with a rucksack weighted with house bricks attached to his waistband, Black Country Coroner's Court was told.

The 53-year-old, who was found dead on January 7, had left a number of handwritten suicide notes - Joanne Lees, area coroner for the Black Country, told the hearing on Tuesday February 18 which was attended by Mr Stacey’s son Karl and daughter Hannah.

A note was found in Mr Stacey's car which had been left at the reservoir, off Highbridge Road, and a number of notes were found at his home address in Harvest Road, Rowley Regis.

The inquest was told police received a 999 call from a member of the public, who had discovered an unlocked vehicle parked at the Lodge Farm reservoir on January 6.

A note which read 'gone fishing lol - suicide folks' was also found on the passenger seat of the purple Vauxhall.

When police arrived they discovered a driving licence belonging to Mr Stacey in the car and they began searching the area around the reservoir.

Later that day another witness came forward and said that at 9.30am that morning they had seen a man asleep in the vehicle and a holdall containing three house bricks on the shoreline and sometime later the vehicle was seen to be empty and the holdall gone.

At Mr Stacey's home address "extensive handwritten notes" were found including details about his finances, his wishes and passwords for the computer and other electronic devices - the coroner told the inquest and she added that the police officer who made the discovery suggested the disappearance of Mr Stacey had been "well planned".

By 3.50pm on January 6 - a police team had arrived and during a search of the area they found Mr Stacey's shoes, which were wet and located next to the reservoir, plus a bag with brick dust and tiny pieces of rubble.

With daylight fading, however, they had to call off the search for the night and they resumed at 6am the next day - and at around 11am they confirmed they had found a body.

The coroner said Mr Stacey was found around eight metres from the shoreline in water approximately two metres deep - and consultant pathologist Dr Swapna Ghosh determined the cause of death was drowning in a post mortem carried out 10 days later.

Mr Stacey's son Karl told how he had seen a Facebook post made by his dad a day or two earlier which was posted at around 4am and read 'gone for a late night swim'.

He described his dad as a "very, very family oriented man" but added: "The drink got in the way of that. He wanted his family, but he wanted a drink."

The coroner told the court Mr Stacey had "stopped working before Christmas" and one of the messages he left behind read 'soz mate but I've had enough'.

He had also written 'my suicide is down to several things' and made reference to a number of incidents and reasons which were not given in court.

Summing up, the coroner said she could not give an exact time and date that Mr Stacey had died but she concluded his death was suicide - given the notes that were found, plus information about circumstances, work and finances, and the fact that he had drowned as a result of "entering and immersing himself in the water".

Anyone experiencing suicidal thoughts can contact the Samaritans for free help and advice by calling 116123 or email jo@samaritans.org.