Ex-Cop And Estranged Wife Enter Suicide Pact, Drive Car Off Cliff

  on May 11 2012 6:04 AM

Astrologer David Mallard was walking around the area of Culver Cliffs when he saw a Renault Scenic car crash through the fence and drive off the cliff, falling on the rocks on the beach below.

The car was driven by a former cop and sitting beside him was his estranged wife, both of whom decided to end their lives in a dramatic suicide pact, an inquest heard Thursday.

The investigation is still on into the deaths of Paul Charles, 53, and his wife Jacqueline, 48, both of whom died in a car crash when it plummeted down the 200 feet cliff to the beach below on the Isle of Wight on the evening of August 17 last year.

As the car went over, I was slightly stunned for a few seconds and in reality if it was not for the fact that the fence was down I would have thought I was dreaming, Mallard, a witness, told the inquest at Isle of Wight Coroners' Court, sitting in Newport, reported Mail Online.

Suicide notes from Charles and Jacqueline were found in his wallet and her house in Ryde respectively.

According to Mallard, the couple did not seem to be arguing or anything and the car looked like it was deliberately driven off the cliff.  

There was absolutely nothing from inside the car, I didn't see anyone saying 'let me out', I heard nothing.

Charles was a former Metropolitan Police Officer, and apparently, he and his wife were unhappy in the weeks before their death.

The couple had dinner together at a bar and, according to bar manager Leslie Dyke, they did not appear to be arguing. They were there for about two hours. At one point they went out for a cigarette.  They didn't appear to be intoxicated or arguing, they didn't stand out, Dyke said.

Another witness, Edward Lyon, who is a local resident of the area, said he saw a blue car plunging down the cliff.

I thought it was going about 30 to 40mph. The car maintained a constant speed up to the fence, went straight through the fence and went out of sight and unfortunately towards the sea. I was totally shocked to see it heading towards the cliff. It was gone in a matter of seconds, he said.

Apparently, Jacquilene had previously talked to her friends about the suicide pact with Charles and said that she and Charles had been living apart due to their unstable relationship.

Det Sgt Clare Crane of Hampshire and Isle of Wight police told the hearing that Charles had been convincing Jacquiline to go along with the suicide. He had planned to take his own life and had asked her to go to Culver Down to say goodbye, reported Mail Online. However, Jacquiline had no intention to die and she had too much to live for.

The hearing for the case will continue Friday.

Check out the pictures of the car wreckage here.

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