A MAN said he felt his mother, a retired Oxford don, was failed by the system after she hanged herself - despite repeatedly seeking help for depression.

Speaking after an inquest at Oxford Coroner's Court this week, Nathaniel Graham said more should have been done to help treat his mother Anne De Moor.

The 53-year-old law lecturer was found hanging from a tree in Wytham Woods on August 22 last year.

Mr Graham had only just returned to their home in Marston Road, Marston, three weeks earlier, having finished his degree at Birmingham University. He told the court he was shocked at how depressed his mother was, adding: "This was uncharted territory."

He said she was consumed by irrational fears and missed the social aspect of her job, from which she retired in 2001.

He added: "She had hoped to be a writer but was disillusioned with that idea.

"She bitterly regretted giving up her job which played a major part in the depression that led to her taking her own life."

Mrs De Moor, who had worked at Somerville College, Oxford, had tried to end her life several times, including on August 9 at Beachy Head.

She was assessed by mental health teams in Sussex before coming back to Oxford and being put under the care of the Oxfordshire Mental Healthcare Trust's Crisis Resolution Unit.

Consultant psychiatrist Dr Kate Saunders, who was involved in Mrs De Moor's treatment, said plans were made to find her a place at a private mental health institution but this fell through when Mrs De Moor's insurance company refused to cover the cost.

She added she did not think admitting her to the Warneford Hospital, Headington - which offered a different type of treatment - would help.

Social worker Catherine Sage said Mrs De Moor remained under the care of the crisis resolution team until August 16 when a decision was made to withdraw the support because she did not meet department criteria.

Miss Sage said: "It was felt she didn't need hospital admission which meant for our team she may not be unwell enough to receive the service."

Her son said during this period, Mrs De Moor's private consultant psychiatrist Dr Peter Amies was away on holiday - leaving her feeling desperate and hopeless.

Deputy coroner Dorothy Flood recorded a verdict that Mrs Dr Moor took her own life.

She said the crisis resolution team should make it common practice to have a written care plan for every patient, which it had failed to do for Mrs De Moor.