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Pregnant woman killed in balcony fall was worried about 'violent when drunk' partner

NewsBy Sunday World
Pregnant woman killed in balcony fall was worried about 'violent when drunk' partner

A pregnant woman who fell to her death from a balcony said her partner would become violent towards her when he was drunk, an inquest has heard.

Georgina Drinkwater, 30, died when she fell from her third floor flat at Orpheus House, Queen's Park, north-west London, in the early hours of February 23 2014.

The mother of two, who was five months pregnant, had shown bruises to her friends and said her partner Robert Weldon, 28, would get violent when drinking alcohol, Westminster Coroner's Court heard.

Her friend Lee Byers told the inquest: "She said that Rob was drinking excessively and when he was under the influence he became violent towards her."

Mr Byers, a psychiatric nurse who also attended the scene of the fatal fall, said Ms Drinkwater had shown him bruises on her arms and legs.

He said he got the impression that she was "embarrassed" by the issues in her relationship, and could get "very emotional".

Mr Byers told the inquest that immediately after an incident she would be quite open because she was still angry herself, but a week down the line when they had "patched things up" she would change.

Due to his job, Mr Byers was asked if it is common for victims of domestic violence to get emotional and downplay the situation, and he said: "Yes."

Talking about the scene of the fall, Mr Byers described Mr Weldon as being "hysterical".

Asked about Mr Weldon's alcohol consumption, he told the inquest: "I would say he's a binge drinker."

Ms Drinkwater and Mr Weldon left The Mason's Arms pub at 1.55am and were captured walking back to the flat on CCTV cameras in the area.

On Tuesday the inquest heard Ms Drinkwater looked "somewhat frustrated" in the footage and that the pair started arguing when they arrived home at 2.18am.

Neighbours heard "banging and shouting", with one neighbour recognising Mr Weldon's voice.

He was then heard shouting: "Somebody help me! Somebody help me!"

Ms Drinkwater plunged to her death at 2.52am.

The mother of two, who was five months pregnant, made seven calls to a friend within a few minutes - with two of the calls made in the minute before the fatal fall.

She sent a message to the same friend about her partner at 2.49am, about three minutes before she fell three minutes later.

The inquest heard that Mr Weldon was seen "sobbing" at the scene, and saying: "She just fell, she just fell. She's pregnant. You've got to save her."

Mr Weldon was arrested on suspicion of murder just before 4am.

The Crown Prosecution Service found that there was insufficient evidence and Mr Weldon was released without charge.

Mr Weldon said his partner climbed down on to the second floor balcony and slipped, and he tried to stop her but could not and she fell, according to evidence given by DCI Andrew Chalmers.

Pathologist Dr Simon Poole said Ms Drinkwater died from "multiple injuries consistent with free fall from a height".

A forensic scientist's report found that Ms Drinkwater had been drinking alcohol and it is likely that she was "experiencing some of the effects of cocaine at the time of her death".