Man who lost job threw lover from eight-storey window then jumped to his death

A troubled tech developer pushed his lover out of an eight-storey window and then jumped after her in a horrific murder-suicide.

Tony Taylor, 33, shoved Renata Poncova out of the window at their flat after falling into a "spiral of depression" when he lost his job, an inquest heard.

Police believe surveyor's daughter Miss Poncova, also 33, had been hit in the face before being murdered by Taylor following an argument in the bedroom of their home in Southwark, south London.

Her blood was found spattered across the bedroom furniture, on the wall and dripping from the window frame, the hearing was told.

Hand and fingerprints suggest Taylor had pushed open the window as wide as possible and past the safety mechanism, as she desperately clung onto the frame.

The shop assistant, who came to London from her native Slovakia to study, had lost her job a few weeks prior but already found a replacement and was being supported financially by her parents.

Southwark Coroner's Court heard that Miss Poncova was from a loving family, was not in debt and had no history of mental health issues.

She had sent a 'smiley' face and a love heart in a text to her mum just hours before the murder-suicide on November 3 last year.

Her parents Edvard Ponc, a planner, and Zuzana Poncova, a surveyor, attended the double inquest alongside Taylor's 14-year-old daughter, who was accompanied by her grandmother.

Mrs Poncova said in a statement: "Renata was a happy child and everyone wanted to have a child like her.

"She had a good relationship with her family and never went through any traumatic experience."

Neighbours reported hearing screams from the tower block shortly before midnight.

A woman living in the apartment below said she was woken up at around 11pm by what sounded like a woman being attacked.

Police had to remove the front door of their south London apartment which had been dead-locked from the inside.

A witness who dialled 999 after the couple's fall said: "I heard a loud scream from a woman and a male.

"They are now lying on the floor. I don't know if they are dead or not."

Miss Poncova had been desperately trying to help Taylor the day prior to their death, who was having suicidal thoughts following a history of mental health issues.

She and a friend called 111 just after lunchtime to relay his "mental anguish" and Miss Poncova managed to take him to A&E for an emergency consultation.

But the couple, who were seen holding hands at the hospital, left before speaking to staff and nearly crashed on the way home when a fight broke out in the car.

Miss Poncova called mental health services via 111 for a second time that evening, from the flat, and was referred to King's College Hospital, but did not manage to leave the apartment.

A text from Miss Poncova to a friend read: "We didn't get there. He start fighting with me, we nearly crashed.

"He really scared me, he said he needs time.

"I can't really push him, he said he'd do something stupid. I hardly got him home, I will try tomorrow."

A note written by Taylor was found on the bedroom dressing table, after he took his own life.

His daughter said in a witness statement that her dad fell into "a spiral of depression" after he lost his job.

The 14-year-old described "a special bond" with her father who she said would often pick her up after work and confide in her.

Taylor, who was born in Barbados, studied in Peckham, south east London, before working as a DJ and later in Burger King and Tesco.

Det Sgt Daniel Catmull said bruises on Miss Poncova's arm suggest her boyfriend lifted her up and pushed her out of the window of the flat on the night of her death.

He said: "My conclusion was that Mr Taylor has opened the window; that is because of the prints from him and the position of them.

"I believe that Mr Taylor has struck the underneath of her arm, freeing that hand therefore unbalancing her and it was then a case of buffeting her legs up to lift her which is why she remains so close to the building striking the window beneath her."

The detective noted there was a balcony in the apartment which would have been a more obvious choice had it been a planned suicide.

He added: "If pre-planned, there are much easier places to jump.

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