A mother fell from a cliff after trying to make her own way down on the beach of Durdle Door in Dorset.
Tahira Jabeen, 46, from Birmingham, fell 60 feet to her death after her daughter Ruqayya Hussain, 18, pleaded with her to not climb down the steep cliff in Dorset. An inquest heard that the mom-of-five ignored the advice of her daughter then fell to her death moments after shouting “I’ll be fine!”
Her daughter took a photo of her mother making her way down the 60ft. cliff and posted it to her sisters to say “Look what mom’s doing.” A witness at the top of the cliff shouted to Ms. Jabeen “you’re going to kill yourself” while people on the beach yelled at her to stop.
Ms. Jabeen, who was wearing black Crocs at the time, was about halfway down the cliff when she slid out of control and plunged onto the beach below.
An inquest heard she suffered multiple rib fractures and punctured lungs after hitting rocks as she fell. An off-duty paramedic and ICU nurse who were on the beach tried to help Ms. Jabeen and performed CPR but she died at the scene at 3.25 pm.
Miss Hussain did not see her mother fall but heard a “shriek” from the beach as she walked down the cliff steps. She had to be held back when she arrived on the beach.
Ms. Jabeen had been wanting to visit Durdle Door for some time. She worked as a retail assistant at Asda and as a contract tracer for the NHS’s Test and Trace service, she and her daughter arrived at the popular beauty spot shortly before 3 pm.
Miss Hussain said her mother thought she could climb down the cliff to Man O’ War beach rather than take the steps, she said: “Mom made a comment of “I could climb that,” I talked her out of it, said, “don’t be silly, it’s a cliff”.
“She had agreed to that but changed her mind ten seconds later. I couldn’t see her when I got to the stairs, which made me very panicked as I realized that maybe something had happened,” she added.
Orn Jonasar, a tourist on the beach, was standing just a few feet away when Ms. Jabeen started to descend the cliff. He said: “They are very steep cliffs, hundreds of feet above the ground.”
“Even going down the steps, because of the steepness, it’s not an easy process, you do have to take care. From the slope, you couldn’t see the beach so I knew there must be a drop-off. I wouldn’t have tried it even with climbing ropes.”
Iain Gallacher, an off-duty paramedic said: “I shouted “you’re going to kill yourself” but she had already started. There was no recognition, it was like I wasn’t there. She continued to zig-zag her way across the cliff.”
“At one point she lost her footing and slid down on her hands and feet for about 10ft. then hit a rut and came totally down onto the beach. She landed about 10ft from where I was standing,” he added.
The inquest heard that Ms. Jabeen had left a violent relationship and raised her five daughters, aged 27 to 18, by herself. As well as working two jobs, she had also gone to university in her 40s and was preparing to start her dissertation shortly before her death.
Her family said her death had a huge impact on their whole community. The family thanked everybody who was there for Ms. Jabeen in her last moments and tried to save her but raised concerns about a lack of barriers or warnings signs.
Richard Middleton, an assistant coroner, said he was satisfied that the route to the beach was clear, that there were signs highlighting the dangers and the risks were clear to others.
Lulworth Estate, which owns the land, said it had carried out further risk assessments since the incident and put in more signage. Mr. Middleton has also recorded a verdict of accidental death at the Bournemouth inquest.
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