Sean Emmett: Ex-superbiker declines to answer domestic violence questions

Image source, Christopher and Carolyn Elson
Image caption,
Abigail Elson died when she fell from a window at a hotel in Dubai in 2013 during her honeymoon

A former superbike racer declined to answer questions about allegations of violence in his relationship with his wife at an inquest into her death.

Abigail Elson, 27, fell to her death from a hotel window in Dubai in 2013 while honeymooning with Sean Emmett.

Mr Emmett, 50, chose not to answer the questions put to him during the inquest at Woking Coroner's Court.

The inquest heard he had a conviction for assaulting his current wife and had served a six-week jail term.

Coroner Alison Hewitt asked Mr Emmett - who was living in Addlestone, Surrey, at the time - about allegations made by Ms Elson he had hit her, there had been arguments and they had locked each other out of the flat they shared.

However, the inquest heard those questions were covered by Rule 22 under which witnesses are allowed not to answer if there is a risk they will incriminate themselves.

To each question, Mr Emmett, who won 19 British Superbike events during his career, replied: "I decline to answer that."

However, Mr Emmett told the inquest avid sports fan Ms Elson was a heavy drinker with history of depression and self-harming.

He declined to answer any further questions about violence in the relationship from Alexandra Felix, representing Ms Elson's parents.

Image source, Allsport/Getty Images
Image caption,
Sean Emmett told a coroner he wished he had stopped his new wife leaning out of the window

Talking about his conviction for assaulting his wife, Mr Emmett said: "I pleaded guilty to excessive force in self-defence.

"It's something I'm very sorry about. We have moved on and have now been happily married for three years."

Mr Emmett said on the night of her death Ms Elson had dropped her wedding ring after they had been drinking.

They went downstairs to look for it but Ms Elson continued looking out of the window for it after she returned to their room, he told the hearing.

He said the rail became a "pivot point" and she leaned so far her weight "flipped her over".

The coroner said Mr Emmett had asked his wife to come away from the window but she questioned whether he made any attempts to stop her.

Mr Emmett replied: "If I could turn the clock back, I would have literally given Abbie a bear hug, taken her away from that window and taken her downstairs to look for that ring. I wish I had."

The inquest continues.

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