Television fitness trainer Angie Dowds sent girlfriend a text message before committing suicide at Beachy Head

 

A celebrity fitness trainer sent her girlfriend a text message reading “my heart is broken; my spirit is broken” before leaping to her death from Beachy Head.

Angie Dowds, an award winning fitness expert who appeared in ITV’s weight loss challenge show The Biggest Loser, also told Edwina Benson that she would soon be “at peace”, adding “on your head be it” before jumping from the suicide hotspot, an inquest heard today.

Recording a verdict of suicide, the coroner said she was satisfied that Miss Dowds, who had a history of drink and drug addiction, and whose body contained a 'severely toxic' cocktail of alcohol and diazepam, had intended to kill herself.

Witnesses reported seeing the 42-year-old "walking purposely" towards the cliff edge near Eastbourne, East Sussex, before disappearing over the sheer drop just after 4.30pm on November 20 last year.

Ms Benson broke down as she told Eastbourne Magistrates' Court of the text message exchanges between her and Miss Dowds, whom she had known for just a few months.

The primary school administrator said that although Miss Dowds had spoken of committing suicide in the past, she didn’t believe she would ever follow it through.

Kevin Dowds, Angie’s brother, told the court how he had been shocked by the toll alcohol had taken on her when he saw her the weekend before her death.

He said: "I could see the effect of her drinking, but at the same time I felt a sense of optimism that she was going to let go of her career and just get well."

She confided in him that things were "wonky in her domestic world" and that she had expressed concern about where she was going to live.

Then two days before her death, they spoke on the phone and Miss Dowds told him she had "had enough" and that "I want to go to God".

He said: "I didn't know what to say to her apart from expressing that I didn't want her to do that and that I'd come and get her, but she didn't want me to do that.

"When Angie was in those states, it could be very volatile and dramatic. I had experiences with Angie which were bad but two days later it was like it never happened."

Details of her troubled state were disclosed when she was found on the A20 last August by police saying she wanted to run in front of cars and "end it all".

She had at various times been admitted to hospital and received help from mental health professionals, as well as Alcoholics Anonymous, but her problems continued.

The inquest was also told that Miss Dowds had 129mg of alcohol in 100ml of blood at the time of her death. The legal drink-drive limit is 80mg.

Pathologist Dr Hassan El Teraifi said that although the alcohol level was not high, combined with more than double the therapeutic level of diazepam, she may have been in a "toxic state".

Her GP, Dr Helen Eakin, said Miss Dowds, who lived in north London, went missing in May last year but was found.

She had also been under "increasing pressure" as a new television series she was involved in was due to start in three months.

Dr Eakin said in a statement: "It seems she had a long history of problems with alcohol and drug misuse." In January last year, she was referred to a mental health team from accident and emergency following a drugs overdose.

At one point, she said she wanted to kill herself "to punish people". At Beachy Head, no suicide note was found but her identity was confirmed after a passport was found in her trouser pocket.

The Coastguard was called to retrieve her body from the beach and a post-mortem examination confirmed death was caused by multiple injuries.

News
people'It can last and it's terrifying'
Sport
Alexis Sanchez, Radamel Falcao, Diego Costa and Mario Balotelli
football
Sport
Danny Welbeck's Manchester United future is in doubt
footballGunners confirm signing from Manchester United
News
people Emma Watson addresses celebrity nude photo leak
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Sport
footballFeaturing Bart Simpson
News
Katie Hopkins appearing on 'This Morning' after she purposefully put on 4 stone.
peopleKatie Hopkins breaks down in tears over weight gain challenge
Arts and Entertainment
Olivia Colman topped the list of the 30 most influential females in broadcasting
tv
News
Kelly Brook
peopleA spokesperson said the support group was 'extremely disappointed'
Life and Style
techIf those brochure kitchens look a little too perfect to be true, well, that’s probably because they are
Sport
Andy Murray celebrates a shot while playing Jo-Wilfried Tsonga
TennisWin sets up blockbuster US Open quarter-final against Djokovic
Arts and Entertainment
Hare’s a riddle: Kit Williams with the treasure linked to Masquerade
booksRiddling trilogy could net you $3m
Arts and Entertainment
Alex Kapranos of Franz Ferdinand performs live
music Pro-independence show to take place four days before vote
News
news Video - hailed as 'most original' since Benedict Cumberbatch's
News
i100
Life and Style
The longer David Sedaris had his Fitbit, the further afield his walks took him through the West Sussex countryside
lifeDavid Sedaris: What I learnt from my fitness tracker about the world
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Infrastructure Lead, (Trading, VCE, Converged, Hyper V)

£600 - £900 per day: Harrington Starr: Infrastructure Lead, (Trading infrastru...

Software Solution Technician - Peterborough - up to £21,000

£20000 - £21000 per annum + Training: Ashdown Group: Graduate Software Solutio...

Supply teachers needed- Worthing!

£100 - £120 per day: Randstad Education Crawley: Supply teachers needed for va...

Year 4 Teacher

Negotiable: Randstad Education Plymouth: Year 4 Primary Teachers needed Rand...

Day In a Page

'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes': US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food served at diplomatic dinners

'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes'

US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food
Radio Times female powerlist: A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

Inside the Radio Times female powerlist
Endgame: James Frey's literary treasure hunt

James Frey's literary treasure hunt

Riddling trilogy could net you $3m
Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

What David Sedaris learnt about the world from his fitness tracker
Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

Second-holiest site in Islam attracts millions of pilgrims each year
Alexander Fury: The designer names to look for at fashion week this season

The big names to look for this fashion week

This week, designers begin to show their spring 2015 collections in New York
Will Self: 'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

Will Self takes aim at Orwell's rules for writing plain English
Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Toy guns proving a popular diversion in a country flooded with the real thing
Al Pacino wows Venice

Al Pacino wows Venice

Ham among the brilliance as actor premieres two films at festival
Neil Lawson Baker interview: ‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.

Neil Lawson Baker interview

‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.
The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

Wife of President Robert Mugabe appears to have her sights set on succeeding her husband
The model of a gadget launch: Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed

The model for a gadget launch

Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed
Alice Roberts: She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

Alice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
Get well soon, Joan Rivers - an inspiration, whether she likes it or not

Get well soon, Joan Rivers

She is awful. But she's also wonderful, not in spite of but because of the fact she's forever saying appalling things, argues Ellen E Jones
Doctor Who Into the Dalek review: A classic sci-fi adventure with all the spectacle of a blockbuster

A fresh take on an old foe

Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering