Inquest on Alps death fall victim halted

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DETECTIVES may fly to Switzerland to investigate the death of a woman killed while climbing in the Alps with a man who was at the centre of the Jeremy Thorpe trial.

An inquest in west London was halted yesterday when officers from Scotland Yard said they had launched an inquiry into the death of Caroline Mayorcas, 45, a divorcee, of Chiswick, west London, who slipped 900ft to her death on the Eiger on 21 August.

She had attempted the climb with her boyfriend Hann Redwin - formerly Andrew Newton, the chief prosecution witness at the 1979 trial of Jeremy Thorpe, former leader of the Liberal Party. Mr Redwin, also of Chiswick, changed his name by deed poll.

Dr John Burton, the west London coroner, stopped the hearing in Fulham, south-west London, because of fears that witness evidence might prejudice police inquiries or a future trial.

Detective Inspector David Stone said he had contacted Swiss police through Interpol after receiving information. At this stage there were 'no criminal allegations'.

Earlier, the coroner pointed out that, under international rules, British police can go to a foreign country to investigate the death of a national only if homicide is suspected. But Mr Stone said: 'I'm not investigating a homicide at the moment.'

The inquest was told that Mrs Mayorcas had never been mountaineering before her fatal trip to the Alps. She was not wearing a helmet when she fell.

A pathologist gave the cause of death as head injuries. The hearing was adjourned until 27 January.

As Andrew Newton, Mr Redwin came to prominence as the man who shot the dog belonging to Norman Scott, a homosexual male model, on Exmoor, Somerset, in 1975.

At a trial in 1976, Exeter Crown Court was told that Newton tried to use the same pistol on Mr Scott, but the gun jammed.

After his release from prison, Newton alleged he was paid pounds 5,000 by senior Liberal Party supporters to silence Mr Scott over his friendship with Mr Thorpe. The allegation led to the Old Bailey trial where Mr Thorpe was cleared of conspiracy to murder.