Inquest into death of holidaymaker begins

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The inquest into the death of primary school volunteer Charlotte Blackman – who died in a beach landslide – was being held this week.

The hearing at County Hall, Dorchester will establish facts about Miss Blackman’s death on July 24 on Hive Beach, Burton Bradstock, where she was crushed by 400 tonnes of rock.

West Dorset Coroner Sheriff Payne will preside over the inquest which was due to conclude today, Wednesday, December 19).

Miss Blackman’s family are set to make the trip down to the hearing from Heanor.

More than 100 mourners attended the 22-year-old’s 
funeral at St Susanna’s Church in 
Horsley Woodhouse. She was hoping to start a career as a teacher and had been working as a volunteer at Horsley Woodhouse Primary School.

Charlotte, who hadalso volunteered at Derbyshire Autism Services Group for three years, was strolling the beach with her boyfriend and dad when tragedy struck.

She had met boyfriend Matthew at Aldercar Community and Language College in Aldercar, six years ago.

The family had described the couple as ‘childhood sweethearts’, who shared many plans for a ‘bright future together’.

Matthew’s older sister Vicki told the News the accident happened during the family’s first trip to the Freshwater Holiday Park in Burton Bradstock.

Charlotte was killed as she walked past 60ft high cliffs that fell suddenly.

Geologists say heavy rainfall might have caused the rocks to slip. She had just been awarded a first class degree in education studies at the University of Derby and had a promising career in teaching ahead of her.

Her body was found after a frantic nine-hour search.

Since then, concerns have been raised about another nearby stretch of rocks on the Dorset coastline which collapsed at the beginning of December.

Almost 200 metres of the cliff at Charmouth began to move and coastguards cordoned off the area.

Meanwhile, a charity set up in memory of Charlotte has raised £800 through a bag-packing event.

Charlotte’s mother, Rachel, and friends packed bags at Asda in Langley Mill. The Charlotte Blackman Memorial Fund is also one of three fund-raising groups in the ‘green token scheme’ at Asda for the whole of December.

Mrs Blackman is also organising a gig concert near to Charlotte’s 23rd birthday on February 2 next year.

The event will be held at Heanor Miners’ Welfare on Ilkeston Road from 7pm.

The fund was also swelled by £2,000 at the beginning of November after hundreds, including children from Horsley Woodhouse attended a fun day in her honour at the club.

The total now stands at £5,000 and will be used to honour Charlotte’s commitment to helping youngsters with autism during her life. All money raised will go towards helping autistic and vulnerable children. It is hoped enough will be raised to pay for youngsters to go on holiday with their families.

Her father, coach driver Kevin Blackman, 45, will also attempt to overcome his fear of heights to complete a skydive for the cause next May.

To donate to the fund, head to www.charlotteblackmanmemorialfund.co.uk.