Saturday 27 May 2017

Pregnant partner who fell to her death was not trying to escape from me, man tells inquest

Robert Weldon (left) arriving at Westminster Coroner's Court, where an inquest has heard that his partner Georgina Drinkwater, who died after falling from a balcony, said he would become violent towards her when drunk. Photo: Sophie Baggott/PA Wire
Robert Weldon (left) arriving at Westminster Coroner's Court, where an inquest has heard that his partner Georgina Drinkwater, who died after falling from a balcony, said he would become violent towards her when drunk. Photo: Sophie Baggott/PA Wire

Catherine Wylie and Sophie Baggott

The partner of a pregnant woman who fell to her death from a balcony has told an inquest she was not trying to escape from him.

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.

Asked about how often he had caused bruising on Ms Drinkwater, Mr Weldon told the court: "Couple of times I think."

He added: "I've grabbed her by her arms before."

Mr Weldon was asked if Ms Drinkwater made her way out to the balcony as a way of escaping him, but he said that was not the case and he denied being aggressive.

"She wasn't scared of me. She didn't have to escape," he said.

Mr Weldon added: "There was no violence. Nothing like that."

He told the inquest he was standing at the front door - but not "guarding" the door - after Ms Drinkwater said she was leaving.

The couple had just returned home after a night out and had been arguing.

Mr Weldon said Ms Drinkwater asked him to leave, adding: "It was normal for her to do that. I said I didn't want to leave because it's the same thing over and over again.

"I had had enough."

He said the pair had had a "good night", and added: "For me, I was just trying to reason with her because I didn't want the night to go the way it was going."

He said there was the option of the night out continuing, but he said he told her outside the pub: "No, I'd rather go home with you and spend time with just you."

When Ms Drinkwater said she wanted to leave the flat, where Mr Weldon said the argument had become "two people ranting and raving", he recalled telling her: "You're not leaving."

Questioned about standing at the door, he told the inquest: "If she had tried to walk out the front door I would have let her go."

Mr Weldon said: "She didn't come at me once."

He added: "She didn't make any attempt to leave."

The inquest heard Ms Drinkwater 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 Mr Weldon at 2.49am, about three minutes before she fell at 2.52am, the inquest heard.

Detective Chief Inspector Andrew Chalmers said Ms Drinkwater wrote in a text: "Claire call as soon as possible. He's on his mad drunk aggressive thing."

Mr Weldon said he was not "mad drunk" and "not all over the gaff drunk".

He denied being aggressive during their argument, adding: "It's an argument. People shout."

He told the inquest his partner tried to climb down on to the second-floor balcony and slipped.

He said the reason he told people she was trying to get to the second-floor balcony was because it was "the only place to go".

Talking about the moment he went out towards the balcony, he said he did not see her climbing over it and the first thing he saw was her on the "other side of the railing".

He said: "I wanted her to come back inside."

He added: "I was scared. I was scared of where she was and what she was doing."

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 described Ms Drinkwater as an "amazing mum" and said: "She was really an amazing girl. She had the best interests for everyone at heart."

He told the inquest about going to counselling with Ms Drinkwater and how it was a "massive help".

He said: "We both loved each other to bits."

Press Association

Promoted articles

Editors Choice

Also in World News