Inquest hears ex-boyfriend filmed lead-up to bridge death fall in Haverfordwest
7:40am Saturday 8th September 2012 in News
THE minutes leading up to the death of a 19-year-old woman who fell from a Haverfordwest footbridge in March were filmed on a mobile phone by her ex-boyfriend, an inquest heard last Thursday.
Joanne Elizabeth Griffiths, of Heritage Park, died in the early hours of March 1st after falling from the Cartlett footbridge near the multi-storey car park.
Joanne’s ex-boyfriend, Gary Newell, said he recorded his conversation with Joanne as she stood on the wrong side of the railings, because he was the only person there.
When Joanne’s mother, Monica Griffiths, asked why he had not gone onto the footbridge to help her, Mr Newell said he thought he would have been blamed for her death.
The inquest heard Joanne, a catering assistant at Tesco, had been on a night out on February 29th and had been drinking before going out in town.
Joanne bumped into Mr Newell and his new girlfriend at Eddie’s, where an argument broke out and Joanne was escorted off the premises.
The inquest heard that Joanne was upset after she and Mr Newell broke-up in December.
The next time Mr Newell saw Joanne was at the footbridge, where she was on the wrong side of the rail railings and said she wanted to talk to him.
Emergency services were called to the scene and police tried to talk to Joanne.
Police closed the roads, laid out kit bags on the central reservation below the footbridge, and called for a negotiator, as well as back up from the fire and ambulance services.
Eight minutes after police arrived at the scene Joanne let go of the railings and fell from the footbridge onto the cobbles between the central reservation.
Joanne’s mother told the inquest she had been in a good mood before going out that night, but added: “I know she did change if she had a lot of drink.”
A post-mortem by pathologist Daniel Houser found 126mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood in Joanne’s body, which he said was likely to have been higher at the time of the incident.
Mr Houser believed Joanne’s death was caused by falling from height.
HM Coroner Mark Layton said it seemed Joanne had found it difficult to cope with the breakdown in her relationship with Mr Newell, as well as having had a considerable amount to drink that night.
Mr Layton recorded a narrative verdict and said Joanne’s death had been caused by injuries sustained in falling from height, “but the question of intention remains unclear”.