COLLEAGUES of a former Oxford GP found dead in the River Thames have said he will be greatly missed.

The body of Dr Richard Barnett, 70, was found off Wharf Road, Shillingford, on Friday.

His family say they fear Dr Barnett had left home in Baldon Lane, Marsh Baldon, five weeks earlier to take his own life.

Dr Barnett worked at The Manor Surgery in Headington from 1974 until 2008.

Senior partner at the surgery, Dr Gerald Sacks, worked with him at the practice.

He said: “He had a very loyal following and was very popular with his patients.

“He was a good, kindly doctor. He was very serious but with a very droll sense of humour. He made everybody laugh.

“He used to have us in fits in the mornings before the surgery opened.

“It is very, very sad. We will miss him very much.”

He left behind his wife, Lucy, three children, and three grandchildren.

Dr Barnett’s family released a statement on Sunday which said he had been suffering from clinical depression since October last year.

An inquest into his death at Oxfordshire Coroner’s Court has not yet opened.

The body is due to be formally identified later this week.