Young woman’s untimely death a ‘bitter blow’

Tributes left at the scene of the tragedy
Tributes left at the scene of the tragedy

NOBODY saw a young woman plunge 50ft from a railway bridge to her death an inquest has heard.

Michelle Hudson, 25, of Holmesdale Gardens, was found unconscious on the track after falling from the bridge at the end of Linton Road, in the early hours of January 23 last year.

After the discovery by her boyfriend Thomas Woolven, Miss Hudson was taken to the Conquest Hospital, where she died the following day.

Coroner Alan Craze said that there was no doubt that she had fallen from the bridge, though there was no evidence to suggest that she had been pushed.

He said: “I take it as either she fell or she jumped.”

She was found to be almost twice the legal drink drive limit, though had taken no drugs.

Pathologist Dr Olaf Biedrzcki gave the cause of death as a head injury, and noted no injuries typical of a sustained assault.

Mr Woolven was arrested at the scene on suspicion of attempted murder, but was later released without charge.

Miss Hudson was not captured on CCTV, and door-to-door enquiries did not shed any light on what had taken place.

Her father Michael Hudson, of Holmesdale Gardens, said: “I do know that Michelle has never spoken to me about taking her life.”

He explained that the unemployed mother of two had a third child who died of cot death, and following this she had suffered from depression but had since made a full recovery.

“I consider Michelle to be close to me, so her untimely and sudden death has come as a bitter blow,” he added.

On the evening of Saturday, January 23, Miss Hudson had been out with friends, including Mr Woolven at Fluid night club in the town centre, before the two of them left and returned to Holmesdale Gardens in the early hours.

Lauren Court, a friend who had been with them for much of the evening said in a statement given to police: “We were having a great time just dancing with friends.”

She said that at 2.19am she received a text message from Miss Hudson, which read: “I’m going home in a minute honey, sorry.”

At around 2.30am, several residents of Holmesdale Gardens were woken by the couple arguing in the car park of Clifton Court, in Holmesdale gardens, and called the police. Eventually Miss Hudson ran off leaving her handbag behind.

Mr Woolven, of Lower Waites Lane, Fairlight, told the inquest: “We had an argument. I wanted my car keys back because they had my house keys attached.

“If we had an argument, she would go and hide. I thought if I walked along the train tracks, I would have a much wider view of the area.”

At 3.48am police responded to a call from a male claiming his girlfriend was on the railway line.

Mr Craze recorded an Open Verdict, and said: “It is a very straightforward question, did she jump or did she fall.

“I cannot presume something not supported by evidence, and I have no evidence whatsoever to tell me which of these possiblities it is.”