Hospital worker killed by ex-partner before he committed suicide, court hears

Esther Egbon worked as a healthcare assistant. Picture: King George Hospital

Esther Egbon worked as a healthcare assistant at King George Hospital. - Credit: MPS

A mum of four was killed by her ex-partner before he took his own life, a court has heard.

Esther Egbon, a healthcare assistant at King George Hospital in Goodmayes, was found dead in her car in Whalebone Lane South, Dagenham, at 1pm on August 8 last year.

The body of Igie Erabor, from Peterborough, was discovered in the bin chute room of Hawkwell House in nearby Gosfield Road about an hour later.

Nadia Persaud, senior coroner for the eastern district of London, concluded Miss Egbon was unlawfully killed at the inquest into her death at Walthamstow Coroner's Court on Monday, March 29.

A separate inquest into Mr Erabor's death held that day at the same court found the 36-year-old died as a result of suicide.


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The court heard how Mr Erabor met his former partner at the end of her night shift at the hospital after 8am the day they died.

Miss Egbon, 30, then drove to Rochford Avenue in Chadwell Heath. They stayed in the black BMW X5 before it was driven to The Broadway in Dagenham and parked next to a blue VW Golf belonging to Mr Erabor.

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Just after 10am, Mr Erabor told a cousin he was going to kill himself as they spoke by phone. His relative called 999 and, in a bid to find him, drove around Romford believing the delivery driver was there.

But Mr Erabor entered 16-storey Hawkwell House where one witness described seeing a black male staggering out of a lift on the 15th floor.

Neighbours called the police after finding his body at about 2pm. 

Miss Egbon was discovered in the footwell of her car after Mr Erabor's cousin spotted it while driving through Dagenham. She had suffered "catastrophic injuries".

The court heard how Mr Erabor and Miss Egbon married in a traditional ceremony in Nigeria but the marriage was not recognised by UK law. They were separated at the time of their deaths.

A study of Miss Egbon's phone revealed internet searches including "in what circumstances can I stop my ex having contact" and "what rights does my ex have with regards to our children".

Further online queries were made, including about what rights a father has if he doesn't pay child support.

Detective Constable Laurence Dight said: "If Miss Egbon was discussing severing ties to the children with Mr Erabor that could have caused agitation or tension which could have led to what went on to happen.

"My conclusion is Miss Egbon was murdered by Mr Erabor."

He added had Mr Erabor not died, he would have approached the Crown Prosecution Service with the intention of charging him with murder.

Ms Persaud noted she felt satisfied there was no evidence of a third party being involved in Mr Erabor's death.

Det Con Dight admitted police could not pinpoint the precise time Miss Egbon was attacked, but it may have begun while the BMW was in Chadwell Heath. CCTV from Rochford Avenue did not show anyone else enter the car.

He said there had been no concerns raised with the authorities about the parents' relationship prior to their deaths.

The case is due to go before a quality assurance panel, but an initial decision is that it won't be the subject of a domestic homicide review by the Home Office.

Miss Egbon's next of kin did not make a statement, but in theirs, Mr Erabor's family stated: "We are all left with unanswered questions about why someone would destroy his own life and that of his family."

Lisa King, from the charity, Refuge, said: "Two women a week across England and Wales are killed by a current or former partner.

"Every woman’s life lost to male violence must be a wakeup call, and we must remember their names."

Any woman who is afraid of her partner can call Refuge on the freephone, confidential, National Domestic Abuse Helpline, 24 hours a day on 0808 2000 247.

Or visit nationaldomesticabusehelpline.org.uk.

"You are not alone, and support is available," Ms King said.

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