Woman jumps to death from cliff with her two dogs

A troubled woman obsessed with badger culls jumped off a cliff with her beloved dogs after suffering with poor mental health, an inquest has heard.

The bodies of 45-year-old Carla Kidd and her two dogs were found along the Cornwall coastline after she was reported missing.

They were discovered on the morning of November 28 following a search along the coast between Hell’s Mouth and Portreath.

Carla, who had been living in a tent in near Penzance, had suffered from ‘paranoid and manic’ behaviour for years.

The inquest in Truro was told animal-loving Carla used to believe she was being followed and drove around attempting to find people shooting badgers.

The inquest heard how Irish-born Carla had suffered from anxiety and depression since at least 2004, around the time she moved she moved to Cornwall with her then partner David Rands.

Mr Rands said Carla had been displaying “paranoid and manic” behaviour for several years.

She had expressed delusional beliefs that she was being followed and that plans had been made for her abduction.

As an animal lover, Carla also expressed grave concerns over badger culls, and would drive around attempting to find people shooting badgers.

In 2015, Mr Rands contacted Carla’s doctor to relay his grave concerns over her deteriorating mental health.

But despite being tormented by her illness, Carla always refused to see a doctor.

In late October 2019, Mr Rands called the police to report a concern for Carla’s welfare.

Although the pair had separated by that point, they were still in contact.

Two weeks earlier, Carla had posted on social media that she was intending to kill herself and her dogs.

Mr Rands was also concerned about Carla’s living conditions; she was residing in a small tent on a campsite in west Cornwall with her dogs.

When police officers visited her in her tent Carla stated that she was “fine” and informed them emphatically that she did not wish to receive help, while also denying she had any intentions to harm herself despite her social media posts.

As there were no obvious signs of Carla lacking mental capacity, the officers had no choice but to leave her.

On November 27, 2019, Mr Rands again called the police after he received a worrying text message from Carla in which she stated that she was at cliffs at Hell’s Mouth and intended to jump off with her two dogs.

Mr Rands travelled to Hell’s Mouth, where he located Carla’s empty vehicle. Carla was immediately designated as a high-risk missing person and land, sea and air searches were launched.

Shortly after 11pm, Carla’s dogs were found deceased at the base of cliffs.

Due to darkness, the search for Carla was suspended and resumed at daylight the following morning.

At around 11am Carla’s body was found on rocks between Hell’s Mouth and Basset’s Cove.

Following a post-mortem examination it was concluded that Carla died as a result of multiple injuries consistent with a fall from height.

Guy Davies, assistant coroner for Cornwall, recorded a conclusion of suicide.

He said: “Carla had a history of prolonged and aggravated mental health issues and they were aggravated from 2013 and 2014 when it would appear when she became obsessed with opposing badger culls.

“Those mental health issues left her extremely paranoid and on Carla’s part she believed she was being followed by the authorities. The relationship with her partner broke down at the end of 2017 due to her mental health issues, and the deterioration in her mental health continued.

One of the key aspects here was Carla’s refusal to accept assistance.

“I noticed in October 2019 her ex-partner made a safeguard report to police and this was very much a last gasp chance to save Carla, but when she was seen, Carla was emphatic that she did not want any help or referral made, and she added that she had no intention of harming herself despite the posts she made on Facebook. 

“Police decided there were no obvious signs of a lack of mental capacity, and they had no option but to leave Carla in the conditions she was living, in a tent with her two dogs.

“This severe decline in her mental health continued during October and November 2019.”

Mr Davies concluded that following a prolonged period of mental health problems, Carla intentionally took her own life.

Shortly after Carla’s death, Mr Rands said Carla shouldn’t be judged for her decision to take her two dogs, Nathan and Kiera, with her off the cliff. 

Carla, who moved to England from Ireland at the age of 18, also suffered from the loss of her mother when she was only five years old, and was brought up by her grandparents.

“People have been commenting about her decision to take the dogs,” said Mr Rands.

“But they can’t make that opinion, because they didn’t know Carla. She worshipped those dogs, and they were her only companion for a long time. She was obviously very troubled.”