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Thursday, 4 October 2018

Girl, 18, 'had to be talked down from bridge just days before she fell to her death from same spot' – 15 years after her mother killed herself by leaping 100ft from balcony while holding her

  • Yazmina Howard was three when she survived fall in Maxine Carr's arms
  • Her mother was a victim of domestic abuse and feared ex would take Yazmina
  • 15 years on Yazmina, now 18, took her own life on the M20 in Larkfield, Kent
  • Her grandparents, who brought her up, says she was 'beautiful inside and out'
  • Tributes on motorway bridge say: 'I wish you knew how much you were loved'
  • Tried to jump off another bridge week before but talked down, grandfather said 
A teenager has jumped to her death from a motorway bridge - 15 years after her mother killed herself by plunging 100ft while cuddling her daughter.
Yazmina Howard was just three years old when she miraculously survived when Maxine Carr leapt from their seventh storey flat in 2003.
Miss Carr had been a victim of domestic abuse and feared her violent ex had wanted to hurt her and take Yazmina, her inquest was told. 
Yazmina was found shivering close to Maxine's body after falling 100ft from her flat in Maidstone, Kent.
Yazmina suffered skull damage and a broken arm, rib and jaw.
But the college student, aged 18, tragically took her own life on Monday night after she fell from a motorway bridge which crosses the M20 in Larkfield, Kent.
Yazmina's grandfather, Michael Howard, revealed Yazmina had been talked down from jumping off another bridge a week before.
The 70-year-old believes Yazmina was talked down by her boyfriend.
Her grandparents paid tribute to 'a beautiful girl, inside and out' as they described how Yazmina had appeared to 'battle through' the loss of her mum.
She had been out for pizza with a friend on Monday night before she later fell to her death at around 10pm, her grandmother Janet Howard said.
Yazmina Howard was in her mother's arms when she took her own life and has killed herself 15 years on
Yazmina Howard was in her mother's arms when she took her own life and has killed herself 15 years on
Janet Howard, 68, who cared for Yazmina after her mother died, said: 'I got a text from her at 9.23pm saying she was okay.
Yazmina Howard  with her mother Maxine Carr, who would tragically take her own life by jumping to her death holding her daughter as a three year old
Yazmina Howard with her mother Maxine Carr, who would tragically take her own life by jumping to her death holding her daughter as a three year old
Tributes and flowers left to Ms Howard along the motorway bridge. She was described as a 'beautiful girl, inside and out' 
Tributes and flowers left to Ms Howard along the motorway bridge. She was described as a 'beautiful girl, inside and out' 
Lorries and cars come past underneath the bridge on Thursday. Her grandfather said she tried to jump off another bridge a week before but was talked down
Lorries and cars come past underneath the bridge on Thursday. Her grandfather said she tried to jump off another bridge a week before but was talked down
'That was the last I heard. Whatever happened from then, we'll never know - we don't know what has driven her to this at all.
'Yazmina was a beautiful girl, inside and out, who would never hurt anybody.
'She was an emotional person, which may have been connected to the trauma she experienced when we lost her mum, but she seemed to battle through it all.
'She was strong. She'd call us nan and granddad but sometimes 'mum' would slip out - she was more like a daughter than a granddaughter to us.
'Yazmina didn't smoke, she didn't go out clubbing.
'Even when she drank wine, she'd make sure it was vegan because she loved animals and cared about the environment.
'That's the kind of girl Yazmina was.'
Mr Howard added: 'She spent time with us but also at an apartment in Hart Street, which was convenient for her college.
'She studied art, maths and multimedia but didn't know whether she wanted to carry on with the course.
'She'd tell us 'I'll have to start all over again or get a terrible job with terrible money'.
'There's more and more children getting like this and they rarely get the help and support they need. It's left a big void in our life.' 
Yazmina with her grandparents Janet and Michael shortly after her mother's suicide in August 2003
Yazmina with her grandparents Janet and Michael shortly after her mother's suicide in August 2003
Tributes left at the bridge over the M20 in Kent where Yazmina jumped to her death
Tributes left at the bridge over the M20 in Kent where Yazmina jumped to her death
Flowers, candles and cards have been left for 'Yaz' including this tribute who wrote poignantly: 'I wish you knew how much you were loved'
Flowers, candles and cards have been left for 'Yaz' including this tribute who wrote poignantly: 'I wish you knew how much you were loved'
Mr Howard also revealed Yazmina had been talked down from jumping off another bridge a week before. 
The grandfather said the system 'really let her down' as he revealed she was checked into the Priority, in Maidstone, but the family were given little help.
'Before this happened Yazmina had a similar event just over a week before on the same bridge,' he said. 
Mr Howard said he believes Yazmina was talked down by her boyfriend, adding: 'Apparently he managed to get there and pulled her back.
'Police were called and she ended up in the Priority at Maidstone.
'We didn't know anything about it until we got the phone call saying it happened, 'can you come and collect her?'
Janet and Michael Howard brought up their granddaughter Yazmina and today called her 'beautiful inside and out'
Janet and Michael Howard brought up their granddaughter Yazmina and today called her 'beautiful inside and out'
'They said, 'we have put Yazmina under a crisis team'.
'We expected someone to give us a call and say, 'come here and we can give you some guidance in some way'.
'What I can't understand is, they take them into this Priority, how do they evaluate someone to say that they can go? It seems the system has really let her down.'
Floral tributes were left at the bridge, where another teenage took his own life in April.
One said: 'Darling Yaz, we will remember your laughter. I wish you knew how much you were loved. Be at peace my sweetheart.'
At the inquest of Miss Carr who died on August 1, 2003, neighbour Nicola Morrell, of said she was at home the previous night when she heard raised voices from a top floor flat at about 9pm.
She said: 'I could see from my window that someone was walking across the balcony with a child.
'I saw objects thrown from the top balcony and I could hear that a child was upset.'
Miss Morrell called the police but by the time a patrol car arrived things appeared to have calmed down, she said.
However, she was then woken again, by a 'very loud thud' and later by the sound of a child crying.
Miss Morrell added: 'It was a horrible noise.
'It was fairly quiet to begin with, but it got louder and when it was loud it was blood-curdling.'
Police closed off the M20 where Yazmina Howard died after falling from a bridge on Monday
Police closed off the M20 where Yazmina Howard died after falling from a bridge on Monday
The inquest also heard Miss Carr feared her abusive former boyfriend, Ivan Delgardo, planned to snatch Yazmina and return to his native Spain.
Her new boyfriend, Philip Hickman, told the coroner the couple had 'two years of aggression' from Delgardo before her death.

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