Pregant woman texted about 'aggressive' partner minutes before fatal balcony plunge

NewsBy Sunday World
Pregant woman texted about 'aggressive' partner minutes before fatal balcony plunge

A pregnant woman fell to her death from a balcony just minutes after texting a friend about how her partner was "on his mad drunk aggressive thing", 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.

Her mother, Pauline Tio, said she had feared for Ms Drinkwater's safety a year before her death, and said her daughter had been "greatly" let down by the authorities.

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 Robert Weldon at 2.49am, about three minutes before she fell at 2.52am, the inquest heard.

Detective Chief Inspector Andrew Chalmers told the inquest at Westminster Coroner's Court that Ms Drinkwater wrote: "Claire call as soon as possible. He's on his mad drunk aggressive thing."

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

Mr Chalmers said the officer in charge of viewing the footage said Ms Drinkwater looked "somewhat frustrated".

The inquest heard the pair had started arguing when they arrived home at 2.18am.

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

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

Mr Chalmers said someone at the scene saw Mr Weldon, 28, "sobbing" and saying: "She just fell, she just fell. She's pregnant. You've got to save her."

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

Mr Weldon said Ms Drinkwater had "become jealous", Mr Chalmers told the inquest. He was arrested on suspicion of murder just before 4am.

The court heard he said to the officer: "I can't believe you're doing this."

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

Mr Weldon said his partner had climbed down on to the second floor balcony and slipped, and that he had tried to stop her but he could not and she fell, according to Mr Chalmers's evidence.

Mr Chalmers said a friend described the couple's relationship as "volatile", but he said the friend added that Ms Drinkwater said she was not frightened of Mr Weldon and that she "could give as good as she got".

The friend said the pair, who started their relationship in 2012, "appeared to love each other", the inquest heard.

Mr Chalmers read a transcript of a recorded conversation between the pair in which Ms Drinkwater said: "Hit me again like you did last time."

He told the inquest the police had been called on a number of occasions including on Christmas Day in 2013 when Ms Drinkwater did not let Mr Weldon into the flat because he was drunk.

Ms Tio said: "Georgina was greatly let down by the authorities."

She said that in the last few months of her life, Ms Drinkwater - her only child - was planning on moving because she "did not feel safe or protected" and wanted to leave the relationship.

Ms Tio told the courtroom: "I was very worried for Georgina's safety, 12 months even before she died I confided in a couple of my friends and even a police superintendent that I was worried for her safety."

She then described an incident at Ms Drinkwater's flat in which she personally told Mr Weldon she wanted him out.

Ms Tio said it was after this that her daughter told her about domestic violence.

She said her daughter was a "high risk" person, and described the authorities' dealings with her as having been a "collective failure".

Ms Tio added: "Georgina has nothing to be ashamed of. She has gone through domestic violence yes, but what sickens me and disgusts me is that that hasn't been acknowledged."

Ms Tio said she pleaded with her daughter to "please stop making the excuse that drugs and alcohol are the cause of domestic violence".

She added: "It is a choice made by the person himself."

Ms Tio said: "As we know, most domestic violence victims do not press charges."

She told the inquest all about her daughter, about how she loved books, and some of her favourites were The Secret Garden and Little Women.

She also loved reading Shakespeare and her favourite work was Romeo And Juliet, she said

"Georgina was my life and my whole world from the moment she was born," Ms Tio said, adding that she feels "completely empty without her".

Speaking about their relationship, she said: "As my only child, Georgina and I had a special bond and our relationship was very private."

Ms Tio said Ms Drinkwater had a similar bond with her own children. "She was incredibly patient, gentle, kind, and a loving mother to her children."

She added: "All I've got left are the photos and special memories of the daughter that I had."

The inquest was adjourned until Wednesday morning.