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Marine's wife 'committed suicide'
6:24pm Friday 16th May 2014 in © Press Association 2014
The wife of a Royal Marine committed suicide after failing to conquer an addiction that left her drinking up to three bottles of wine a day, an inquest heard.
Rachel Hawkins, 35, the wife of Sergeant Wayne Hawkins, died from multiple injuries after jumping from cliffs in Lympstone, Devon, on to a beach 40ft below. .
An inquest heard Mrs Hawkins, a mother-of-two from Lympstone, developed an alcohol addiction following the death of her father in 2012.
Devon County Hall heard Mrs Hawkins drank between two and three bottles of wine a day from November 2012 until her death on July 29 last year.
Andrew Cox, assistant coroner for Exeter and Greater Devon, recorded a conclusion of suicide at an inquest into Mrs Hawkins' death.
The hearing was told Mrs Hawkins attended numerous detox courses around the country but had never been able to conquer her addiction.
"There had been a developing problem with alcohol which had manifested itself after some difficulties in her earlier life and the tragic loss of her father at short notice," Mr Cox said.
"Sergeant Hawkins has alluded to the fact that the detox facilities for women are few and far between and not ideal.
"Unfortunately Mrs Hawkins was unable to find the treatment that she needed. That never allowed her to make a complete recovery from her addiction to alcohol.
"I have to say that even if a perfect facility had been available, it is not clear that she would have made a perfect recovery."
Sgt Hawkins told the inquest his wife, who he had been in a relationship with for 15 years, only developed an alcohol addiction in late 2012.
"She did a couple of detoxes over a period of two years but they were not successful for very long," Sgt Hawkins said.
"She had come out of rehab where she was one of only a couple of women. It was mainly male orientated.
"It wasn't really the sort of place for her to go but there was nowhere else for her to go. A vulnerable woman in a place like that, they are kind of pursued."
The inquest heard Mrs Hawkins left a detox unit on July 19 last year and told her GP she had relapsed on July 24.
Sgt Hawkins took the couple's two daughters, aged seven and 11, away for the weekend on July 26 after Mrs Hawkins said she "wanted to get some drink", he said.
He returned to Lympstone on July 29 and went to work that morning, before receiving a phone call from his wife at 2pm.
"She said she had written a note," Sgt Hawkins said. "I said 'we have discussed this isn't an option because of the girls, sort yourself out'.
"It wasn't the first time we had had that kind of conversation, it was always cries for help."
However, Mrs Hawkins' body was discovered at the foot of cliffs in Lympstone by charity worker Justin Smallwood, a former Royal Marine, at 7.45 that evening.
Her death was confirmed at 8.02pm and a post-mortem examination found it was caused by multiple injuries.
Detective constable Damien Randall, of Devon and Cornwall Police, confirmed there was no evidence of third party involvement in the death.
A suicide note was discovered at the couple's home, Mr Randall said.