Cornwall

Woman, 33, slipped to death from cliffs in Perranporth

Kat Applegate Image copyright Family
Image caption Kat Applegate, 33, had moved to Cornwall a few months earlier

A mother-of-three died after slipping at the top of cliffs after dark, an inquest has heard.

Kat Applegate, 33, fell to her death in Perranporth, Cornwall, in September.

Police negotiators were talking to her, and coastguards were preparing to rescue her from a precarious position behind a protective fence.

The coroner told the hearing in Truro there was no evidence she intended to take her own life and called it a "tragic accident".

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Miss Applegate had moved to Cornwall a few months earlier from Wiltshire and had been working at two pubs in Perranporth.

On 4 September she sent a text to her boyfriend, Joe Wilson, with a photo of darkness saying "you can't see me, I'm on the cliff".

He recognised where she was as they had previously been to there to watch the blood moon in July, the inquest heard.

Mr Wilson saw that Miss Applegate had been drinking alcohol, and after she nearly slipped on the wet grass, he called the emergency services.

Two police negotiators attempted to speak to Miss Applegate from about 02:00 on 5 September. They explained that coastguards were fixing a post into the ground to enable a rope team to rescue her.

'Dangerous area'

A statement from PC Daniel Roberts said: "She shouted something like 'I'm slipping, I'm slipping'. It looked as though she was scrambling to try and stop herself.

"All I remember seeing is Kat disappear over the edge feet first."

Assistant Coroner for Cornwall, Stephen Covell, said: "She had gone to somewhere she had fond memories of and there is no evidence on her phone or at her flat she intended to jump or do herself harm."

He said alcohol may have contributed to her decision to go to "a very very dangerous area", explaining she was nearly two times over the drink drive limit.

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