Inquest: Woman’s killer in death plunge
A CARE home worker from Worcester strangled his girlfriend to death before killing himself by jumping from the top of a multi-storey car park, an inquest was told.
Aaron Stewart, 28, killed Sarah Fernandes Mason, 39, at the couple’s home on Cooper Street in Malvern, before travelling by train to Worcester and throwing himself from the top of the CrownGate Shopping Centre car park at about 5.30pm on February 4. He was taken to Worcestershire Royal Hospital but died of multiple injuries.
Ms Fernandes Mason’s mother Veronica Wheelwright and 16-year-old daughter Ayeisha Fernandes found her body lying in her bed at about 2.45pm earlier the same day, along with a note which Mr Stewart had faked to give the impression she had meant to kill herself.
It read: “I’m sorry, please forgive me, I love you so much. This is what we both wanted. We can not take this world anymore.”
Mrs Wheelwright was instantly suspicious of the note, and said there was no way her daughter would have meant to kill herself. Handwriting experts studied the note and quickly determined it had been written by Mr Stewart.
Police also found a small knife, a dog lead, and a partially-ripped dressing gown close to the body and something resembling a noose in the loft, although it is thought he killed her using his hands.
The inquest at Stourport on Wednesday (June 1) heard Mr Stewart had a troubled childhood, and had received treatment for depression after he jumped into the River Severn at Kempsey in a failed suicide attempt last July.
The inquest also heard how a former girlfriend described him as aggressive, and capable of killing with an interest in double suicides.
Neighbour Annette Butler said she had seen the couple arguing in a nearby shop earlier in the day, and later on heard them arguing at home as well as hearing a thudding noise and something banging against the wall for an hour.
Another neighbour, Natalie Elwell, saw Mr Stewart near to Somers Park Primary School while he was on his way to Malvern Link Station on the day he died.
In a statement she said: “He was walking quickly and looked very different to what he normally looked like. His eyes looked like they were popping out of his head and he seemed to be on a mission to do something. He looked like he had just seen a ghost.”
At the hearing Worcestershire coroner Geraint Williams said he was convinced the two deaths were inexplicably linked, before declaring Ms Fernandes Mason was unlawfully killed, and Mr Stewart killed himself.