Businessman drove off cliffs to his death, inquest hears

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AN EASTBOURNE businessman who was accused of committing a serious offence drove to his death over cliffs at Peacehaven, an inquest heard.

Dad-of-three William John Robinson, a partner at Cascade Bathrooms in Grove Road, was found dead in his car on March 25 last year.

An inquest heard how Mr Robinson, 68, who lived in Peacehaven, was found inside his vehicle which landed on its roof and was partly submerged in the sea.

The previous day Mr Robinson had been reported missing by his wife of 45 years, Dianne.

The inquest heard how Mr Robinson, who had made previous suicide attempts after his son died, had been accused of a historic serious criminal offence.

Police asked him to attend Eastbourne Custody Centre for questioning - but just hours before the meeting he disappeared and took the decision to end his own life.

In a statement Mrs Robinson said, “On March 24 he came home from work, he had a phone call and then said he had to go and see his business partner. He drove off and that was the last time I ever saw him.”

The inquest heard Mr Robinson had been referred to a mental health team at Eastbourne DGH but was sent home because health officials felt he had good support from his family.

At the inquest East Sussex coroner Alan Craze criticised Sussex Police and Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust for not communicating about Mr Robinson’s health and suggested more could have been done to help him.

An internal investigation made by the hospitals confirmed there had been a breakdown in communications.

Mr Craze recorded a verdict of suicide.