Page last updated at 17:14 GMT, Thursday, 8 January 2009

Death plunge taking insect photo

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The couple were on holiday in the south west of the country

A holidaymaker fell more than 100ft to her death while trying to photograph a grasshopper, an inquest has heard.

Kathryn Williamson-Stockwell, 54, of Carreglefn, near Amlwch, Anglesey, was on holiday in Bulgaria last August.

Her husband Trefor, 68, said she was a keen wildlife photographer, who was visiting an isolated waterfall.

He told the inquest her foot slipped as she crouched near a steep incline to take a second photo. A verdict of accidental death was recorded.

The couple, who had been married for 12 years had been renting a house close to the mountain village of Dolno Dragliste.

Mr Stockwell, a retired teacher and writer, told the inquest: "She was photographing a grasshopper near the side of the path and wasn't too happy with the first shot so she shifted her position. I said 'be careful.

"Then her foot slipped, there was a sharp incline and precipice, she was gone in a flash."

Mr Stockwell said the weather was not a contributory factor as it was "beautiful" and they would not have gone to the spot if it was raining.

'Isolated spot'

"It must have been a foot slip, she was crouching at the time, and it must be that her foot went," he added.

The drop at the waterfall was around 30 metres (100 feet), he said.

After his wife fell Mr Stockwell rang friends in a nearby village, who called the emergency services.

"I was told by several people it would have been instantaneous.

"I didn't see her again, nobody else saw it as it is an isolated spot.

"She slipped and that was it," he added.

Butterflies

Pathologist Dr Tony Caslin said there was a fracture of the spine consistent with a fall from a height.

The authorities in Bulgaria decided there was "no evidence of crime in this case" and closed their files on the basis that it was an accident, said coroner Dewi Pritchard-Jones

"I have no reason to disagree with these findings," he added and recorded a verdict of accidental death.

Mrs Williamson-Stockwell had been a carer for disabled people, who had a passion for photography.

After the accident, Mr Stockwell said: "Kathryn and I had been up the cliff just days before the accident," he said.

"She had been taking photographs of butterflies and the beautiful waterfall and wanted to go back up again."

The couple had planned to build a holiday home in Bulgaria after renting there.

He called his wife "a very special lady, gregarious and outgoing."



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