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Southampton man describes moment he watched his wife die

Gary Langdon recalled the moment his wife vaulted over a balcony at the couple’s flat

A husband has described the harrowing moment his wife threw herself off a third-floor balcony to her death.

Gary Langdon recalled the horrific moment his partner Chrissy, 37, vaulted over the railings at their flat in Southampton, Hampshire.

Speaking at an inquest into her death today, Mr Langdon said he had been called home by her neighbours who told him his wife was raving about hallucinations outside their flat.

Winchester Coroner’s Court heard the business-owner arrived at the flat to find her sprawled out on the bed and swearing at ‘a man in the mirror’ to stop looking at her.

Horrified, Mr Langdon said he made her a cup of coffee before opening the balcony doors so he could have a cigarette in the lounge.

But his wife suddenly dashed past him and jumped over the railing.

He said: ‘She was walking very fast. I wouldn’t have been able to get to her if I tried.

‘When I got to Chrissy she was face down on the floor and there was quite a lot of blood coming from her head. Like a river of it.

‘I loved the ground her shadow fell on. I just wanted her to be happy, but things she told me from previous relationships she used to be beaten up.’

When emergency services arrived at the scene they found Mrs Langdon’s body in the car park with her husband clutching her arms and crying.

He told officers at the time: ‘What am I going to do? She was the love of my life, she was my whole world.’

He was initially arrested on suspicion of murder by Hampshire Constabulary but was released without charge.

At the inquest in Winchester today, coroner Grahame Short ruled that Mrs Langdon’s death on May 1 this year was the result of misadventure. 

At the time of her death she had an unusually high level of the beta-blocker propranonol in her blood and was two-and-a half times over the drink-driving limit at the time of her death.

But Mr Short said he did not believe that this had contributed to her death.

He said: ‘It is clear from the evidence I have been given to describe her she is a vibrant character who enjoyed life to the fullest. It is also true that she frequently drank alcohol, sometimes to excess.

‘She returned home at about 8am on the morning of May 1, after she had completed her jobs from that day. It is unclear what she did for the rest of the morning.

‘I accept, given the evidence, that she may have been drinking alcohol.

‘It may well be that this had an effect on her, but I do not believe this contributed to her death.

‘I have to believe that when she was going right out on the balcony, she knew what she was doing.

‘From that I conclude on the balance of probability that her death was from head and chest injuries as a result of misadventure.’

Described by friends as a ‘typical biker’, Mr Langdon attended the inquest in a black suit with a number of tattoos showing over its collar, including a skull and crossbones on his wrist. 

He began crying as the evidence was presented, hands shaking in his lap.

‘We had each other’s names tattooed on our bodies,’ he said. ‘We both have such bad memories, so we thought that then we couldn’t forget.’ 

Neighbours of the couple told the inquest they had often seen Mr Langdon with bruises on his face and arms and believed they had been caused by his wife.

But Mr Langdon said his partner was loving and caring to him ‘99.9 per cent of the time’.

He added: ‘I don’t think I have ever felt so loved, but now and again she would go off the rails a little.

‘I could see the signs after a few drinks, but at first, she would be bubbly, happy, laughing and joking. 

Maybe halfway down the next drink I used to see the warning signs and say, “Chrissy, it is time to go home now”.’

‘It was like the detonator to a bomb, you know.’