Suicide pact of cliff car plunge couple: Note found after double tragedy at beauty spot


'Volatile relationship': Paul Charles, a former policeman, died after driving over a cliff in an apparent suicide pact with his estranged wife

‘Volatile relationship’: Paul Charles, a former policeman, died after driving over a cliff in an apparent suicide pact with his estranged wife

A former policeman drove his car off a 350ft cliff at high speed in a suicide pact with his estranged wife, it emerged yesterday.

Father-of-four Paul Charles and wife Jacqueline were killed instantly when their car crashed through a barbed wire fence and plummeted on to jagged rocks at an Isle of Wight beauty spot.Troubled: Profile pic from Jackie Charles's Facebook page. She is said to have suffered from mental health problems

He is understood to have become depressed after the breakdown of his five-year relationship and legal issues surrounding some of his children, aged 11 to 24, from one of his two previous marriages.

Four weeks ago, he moved out of the flat he shared with his 48-year-old wife, who also had two children from a previous relationship, in the resort of Ryde to a terraced house in Sandown with his daughter aged 12.

A neighbour said Mrs Charles had suffered mental health problems, and had tried to commit suicide on more than one occasion.

The couple were seen sitting in a Renault Scenic in a National Trust car park at Culver Down on Wednesday evening. At about 8pm witnesses saw the car suddenly start ‘gunning down’ the hill before shooting over the cliff edge.

Yesterday the car’s mangled wreckage was winched from the rocks by RAF Chinook helicopter. Last night, the family of Mr Charles, 53, paid tribute to a ‘loving father, son and brother who will be dearly missed’.

Through tears, his mother Sylvia Charles, 74, said: ‘He had been through a lot but  seemed to have been a lot happier recently.

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