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A PREGNANT mum jumped to her death clutching her baby son after her benefits were stopped, an inquest heard yesterday.

Philosophy graduate Christelle Pardo, 32, plunged from the balcony of her sister's third-floor flat, killing herself and five-monthold Kayjah.

Her sister Olaya said: "She was upset and stressed because she felt that she didn't exist. If it hadn't been for me she would have been out on the street."

Miss Pardo had been claiming Job Seeker's Allowance (JSA) since leaving London Metropolitan University in May 2008.

She became pregnant shortly afterwards, but in December her JSA was withdrawn because she was within 11 weeks of giving birth and deemed unable to work.

As a result she lost her housing benefit and her claim for income support was refused.

But Miss Pardo, who was living at her sister's flat in Hackney, East London, had been in the UK since moving from France in 1997. Two more applications for income support were rejected and she was upset that she could get no date for an appeal.

She made a final unsuccessful phone call to the Department of Work and Pensions the day before she died in June.

Ms Pardo told Poplar coroner's court: "She had the right paperwork because she had previously managed to get a student loan."

But the hearing was told the DWP turned the deceased down because she had not shown herself to be working at the end of 2003.

The day her sister died, Miss Pardo returned to the flat after buying milk to find her front door open. She said: "I called out but there was no answer. I looked over the balcony and saw my sister and Kayjah ." Christelle died at the scene and her son died later in hospital.

Coroner Dr Andrew Reid said: "It seems to be a very parlous situation." Verdict: Suicide and unlawful killing.


SCENE Christelle jumped from flats
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Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Dec 4, 2009
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