Mid Wales

Mwnt cliff fall: Driver's fatal plunge a 'mystery'

The car at the base of the cliff

A 42-year-old man was five times over the drink drive limit when his 4x4 plunged over a cliff in Ceredigion, an inquest has heard.

The body of Gary Chilton, from Manchester, was recovered from the base of the cliff at Ty Gwyn Caravan Park in Mwnt in June.

Witnesses watched in shock as he drove off the cliff, an Aberystwyth inquest heard.

The coroner said what had been in Mr Chilton's mind remained a "mystery".

Andrew Johnson, a work colleague who travelled from Manchester with Mr Chilton to the holiday park on 17 June, said they had been drinking heavily after arriving at about lunchtime.

He said Mr Chilton lost his dog at about 19:00 BST and went to look for the pet in his Land Rover Freelander.

Mr Chilton drove it to the top of the field and then proceeded to do handbrake turns and drive rapidly, the inquest heard.

Mr Johnson approached the car in a bid to stop him as he feared they would get thrown off the campsite.

Image caption Rescue teams and Dyfed-Powys Police were called to the scene just before 20:00, with officers helped at the scene by the RNLI, coastguard and a rescue helicopter

But Mr Chilton drove off and Mr Johnson watched as the vehicle passed him at speed, went through a fence and continued over the cliff edge.

The inquest heard traces of anti depressants were later found in Mr Chilton's blood.

A letter from his GP said he had been taking them for five years.

Senior coroner for Ceredigion Peter Brunton recorded a conclusion of death by misadventure.

He said: "We are still left with the mystery of what was going through Gary's mind at the time of his death."

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