Cliff plunge mum tragedy ‘could have been avoided’

New mum Roseanne Hinchliffe and her father Neil
New mum Roseanne Hinchliffe and her father Neil

A Whitby charity says the death of a new mum who fell from cliffs near the Abbey could have been avoided.

The local branch of the Samaritans says it would be willing to pay for and put up signs appealing to people who find themselves in distress – and say it is a move which has saved lives in the past.

Their support follows an inquest into the death of a 28-year-old mum who travelled from her home in Halifax to the beauty spot and fell to her death last November.

She had been filled with self-doubt and anxiety over her ability to look after her baby girl Laney, who had been born just six days previously.

Mike Murphy, chairman of Scarborough and district Samaritans, said he had spoken to people in the middle of the night who were on the brink of taking their own lives.

He said some of these people had called the helpline after seeing notices which said help was available.

“I have talked to people who have been on a cliff edge and come back,” explained Cllr Murphy, who sits on Whitby Town Council.

“We never know whether we have talked to people who have jumped or not because of confidentiality. “But, it is the belief of the charity that they do have a positive effect.

“We would willingly, with the permission of the landowner, put the appropriate signs up because the charity does believe it saves lives.”

Within a fortnight last year two people took their own lives by falling from cliffs near Whitby Abbey. Pensioner John Leckonby travelled to the area from Great Ayton, while new mum Rosie Hinchliffe travelled from West Yorkshire to the beauty spot.

Discussions are underway with the landowners as to what measures can be put in place.