A MUM found dead at the bottom of a 100ft colliery headgear had told her husband it would be the last time he spoke to her an hour before she went missing, an inquest heard.

Kerry Bailey had been missing for four days when her body was discovered in long grass at Astley Green Colliery Museum by a man exploring the former pit shaft.

The inquest at Bolton Coroner's Court on Monday heard how Kerry, of Cleabarrow Drive, Boothstown, had begun drinking heavily to deal with a troubled childhood and had been diagnosed as bi-polar.

After spending time at The Priory in Altrincham, her condition improved and she began working as a carer, often working 12-hour days.

But she turned back to drink during a weekend when her husband Derek was away and on May 21 called him to ask him why he was being 'cool' with her.

"I told her it was because I knew she was drinking again. She said, 'I've had enough of this life now, I can't feel any lower. I love you but this is the last time you will speak to me'," said Derek.

The court heard the mum-of-two had tried to harm herself before but only ever when drunk and Derek believed she was sober when she called.

He left work to find her but she had already returned to the family home and left again.

He reported her missing the following morning, prompting a police search which included the canal path that ran from near her house to the colliery museum.

After her body was found, a half-empty bottle of vodka and a rucksack containing her personal belongings were found on the top platform of the headgear.

The inquest heard that steps had been taken by the Red Rose Steam Society, which maintains the site, to prevent access to the headgear by removing the lower steps and putting spikes around the base but a ladder, which was kept in an open shelter nearby, was found propped up at the bottom of the structure.

Area coroner Alan Walsh said: "I am concerned about the security at the site. Without ladders it would be difficult to gain access to the headgear and I am satisfied that action has been taken and the ladders are now locked away.

"I suggest the society works with the police to work on security at the site."

Her cause of death was given as multiple injuries consistent with a fall and Mr Walsh recorded an open conclusion as there was insufficient evidence to establish whether Kerry fell or jumped from the structure.

Derek added: "Kerry was the best mum - she would do anything for them. She is missed by everyone.

"I was always there for her, we have been together since we were kids. She might have just fancied a drink - I will always blame myself."