Cork mother and son commit suicide after child porn accusations, inquest hears

Christopher Gosling, 58, pictured with his mother Elizabeth Gosling, 81,

A man and his elderly Irish mother jumped off a cliff in a suspected double suicide, just days after he was arrested on suspicion of child pornography possession, an inquest has heard.

The bodies of Elizabeth Gosling, 81, and her son Christopher Gosling, 58,  were recovered from the Beachy Head, near Eastbourne, East Sussex, on March 21, according to the London Evening Standard.

A retired secretary who was born in Cobh, Co. Cork, Elizabeth Gosling was described as a devoted mother. A family member told the inquest that after Christopher’s arrest her “whole world crashed around her in a couple of hours."

Two days before their deaths, Gosling had been arrested on suspicion of possessing child abuse pictures. He was later freed on bail pending further inquiries.

Josephine Carroll, the niece of the late Mrs Gosling, told the inquest that the mother and son were extremely close.

The inquest heard that 58-year-old Gosling had been suffering from personal problems in recent years.

She said: "All was not well with Christopher, he may have been suffering from some sort of depression.

"He was out of work for a bit because of sickness and he'd been having problems with one particular person at work, Betty indicated he may have been bullied."

Carroll continued: "He never married, had no children.

"He was an only child, his mother idolised him, they were very happy living together.”

"He was a very polite and politically-correct type of person.”

"They were totally devoted to each other."

Gosling worked as an information change manager for the National Health Services (NHS) of Wales. The inquest heard he had been in talks about changing his position within the company in the days leading up to his death.

However he then submitted a handwritten letter of resignation to his employer dated March 20.

The inquest heard that Gosling’s father, Herbert, a retired administrator, died in 2010.

Carroll added: "I couldn't see Betty doing anything like suicide unless something catastrophic had happened and something catastrophic had happened.

"I could see Betty taking this course of action if she thought her son was likely to be punished, she had no-one else apart from him."

Post mortem examinations showed the pair died of multiple injuries and neither had alcohol or drugs in their bodies.

Alan Craze, coroner for East Sussex, ruled that the mother and son committed suicide.

He said: "I have absolutely no doubt whatsoever that Christopher took his own life.

"If that's the case I can have no doubt that his mother took her own life.”

"She was an entirely willing participant, it's dreadful to think about but that's what I think it was."
 

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