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Family ‘devastated’ after mother dies in gorge fall

PUBLISHED: 06:09 16 February 2017 | UPDATED: 09:45 17 February 2017

Commander Chris Smith's inquest is due to open at Avon Coroner's Court today (Wednesday).

Commander Chris Smith's inquest is due to open at Avon Coroner's Court today (Wednesday).

Archant

A ‘talented’ and ‘hardworking’ mother from Backwell died after falling from a cliff close to where she got engaged, an inquest was told.

Amanda Henry was aged 44 when she died after falling from cliffs above the sea walls near to the Portway, in Bristol, in November last year.

An inquest into her death took place at Flax Bourton Coroner’s Court and the inquest heard how Mrs Henry disappeared from her home in Church Town on November 6, following an argument with her husband Damon Henry.

Mr Henry took the couple’s children out for a walk after the row and when he returned home later that afternoon, Mrs Henry was gone, along with her car and handbag.

Mr Henry contacted police later that evening and a search was launched, with sightings of Mrs Henry’s red Peugeot 108 being reported close to Cheddar Gorge and along the A38 in Somerset.

However, efforts to find her were in vain and she died from multiple injuries after parking her car on The Downs and falling from the cliffs in Avon Gorge at about 10.10am on November 8.

In a statement read out during the inquest, Mr Henry said his wife loved her job treating cystic fibrosis patients as a physiotherapist and was looking forward to spending Christmas with her family.

Mr Henry said: “The death of Amanda has left her family, friends, colleagues and patients devastated at the waste of such a hard-working and talented person.

“The Downs have many special memories for Amanda and I. We first put on her engagement ring there and recently attended a concert there.

“She passionately loved her job treating cystic fibrosis patients. She loved her children and we had no money worries.

“I believe the combination of no food or sleep and extreme cold would have affected her significantly, possibly making her confused and disorientated.”

The inquest heard although Mrs Henry had a history of depression it was being managed through medication and she had seemed optimistic about the future before her death.

Assistant coroner Myfanwy Buckeridge concluded Mrs Henry died due to injuries sustained in a fall from height, and added: “She (Mrs Henry) was at a location which had meaning and I take into account she had a history of depression, but I also take into account that her depression was being treated and she had no previous history of self-harm.

“I cannot rule out this was not a tragic accident.”

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