Bristol

Charlotte Bevan death: 'High risk' mother 'looked edgy'

Charlotte Bevan with her partner Pascal Malbrouk and Zaani Tiana Image copyright SWNS
Image caption Charlotte Bevan, her partner Pascal Malbrouk and Zaani Tiana who was four days old

A woman found dead with her baby daughter in the Avon Gorge looked "sketchy and on edge" the day before she went missing, an inquest heard.

Charlotte Bevan vanished from Bristol's St Michael's Hospital with Zaani Tiana Bevan Malbrouck on 2 December.

Avon Coroners Court was told it was "strongly believed" Ms Bevan had headed straight to the Avon Gorge.

The bodies of Ms Bevan, 30, and four-day-old Zaani, were found on the cliff face on 3 and 4 December.

'Decision to jump'

A statement from Ms Bevan's sister Janet Tibbs said she had been visiting her on Sunday 30 November before she went missing.

"I saw her in hospital, [on the Sunday afternoon] she looked sketchy and on edge.

"I'm 99.99% certain she made the decision to jump with Zaani," she said.

Ms Bevan's mother, Rachael Fortune, said her daughter told her that she had stopped taking her medication on the day before she went missing.

"She was breastfeeding constantly," Mrs Fortune said. "She was very quiet.

"I told her it was very brave but it was difficult because anything I said she would have done the opposite.

Image caption CCTV captured Charlotte Bevan leaving St Michael's Hospital

"I suggested that she spoke to the nurses as they could give her advice. I told her I thought Zaani was beautiful."

The court was told Ms Bevan's family had become increasingly concerned by her "chaotic lifestyle" and that she had first been sectioned in 2008.

She was considered a "high risk" missing person by police who searched areas including the city centre and "local suicide spots".

Giving evidence, her partner Pascal Malbrouck described her as "very caring, very joyful" when she was well - when she was taking her medication.

But Mr Malbrouck said she had stopped taking an anti-psychotic drug before their baby was born because she wanted to breastfeed.

He said she had complained of being exhausted and he thought she was deteriorating mentally and physically in the days after the birth.

As he left her for the last time at 20:25 GMT, he asked hospital staff "to keep an eye on her".

CCTV footage later showed Ms Bevan, who suffered from schizophrenia and depression, walking up to the Clifton Observatory at 21:06.

The inquest was told that on the morning of 3 December a witness told police a pair of slippers and a blanket had been found close to the Avon Gorge cliff edge, close to the Observatory.

A search found Ms Bevan's body that evening - her daughter's body was found the next day.

The hearing continues.

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