Superbike champ Sean Emmett arrives hand-in-hand with third wife to inquest into death of his second
Superbike champion Sean Emmett today arrived at the inquest of his second wife who plummeted from a Dubai hotel room during their honeymoon accompanied by his third wife.
Mr Emmett, 50, walked alongside Lana Saoud, 29, as he prepared to give his version of events about the night Abigail Elson, 27, died on February 19, 2013.
He had been arrested by detectives from Surrey Police and the Dubai authorities on his return to the UK in December, but no charges were ever brought and he has always denied any involvement in the death.
Entering the witness box, Mr Emmett gave the hearing his full name and said: ‘I swear by almighty God to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.’
Surrey coroner’s court has already heard that Mr Emmett claims his second wife was looking for her wedding ring when she ‘flipped’ over the balcony and fell.
The court has also been told how the police were regularly called to Mr Emmett’s house after violent rows with Ms Elson, a vicar’s daughter.
Sean Emmett, 50, walked alongside Lana Saoud, 29, as he prepared to give his version of events about the night Abigail Elson, 27, died on February 19, 2013
Ms Saoud (pictured), a Lebanese national who sat next to her husband before he was called to give evidence, is not expected to give evidence at the inquest
Abigail Elson, a 27-year-old vicar’s daughter, fell from a window at the Jumeirah Creekside Hotel on February 19, 2013 on her honeymoon
Ms Saoud, who sat next to her husband before he was called to give evidence, is not expected to give evidence at the inquest.
After taking the stand, Mr Emmett was asked by coroner Alison Hewitt about a litany of incidents that had been recorded by police where he was violent towards Abigail.
The former Grand Prix racer refused to respond to a single attack listed by the coroner, telling the court: ‘I decline to answer.’
Ms Elson’s parents, Reverend Chris Elson and his wife Carolyn sat in court showing little emotion as Mr Emmett refused to provide any details about allegations of violence towards their daughter.
Alison Hewitt, the assistant coroner for Surrey, told Mr Emmett he would be warned if any questions tended to incriminate him.
But Mr Emmett, appearing at the inquest for the first time, refused to answer more than 20 questions which he felt would incriminate him while appearing as a witness, prompting objections from lawyers representing Ms Elson’s family.
Mr Emmett been arrested by Surrey Police and the Dubai authorities on his return to the UK in December, but no charges were ever brought. Pictured together on their wedding day
Ms Elson’s family complained about a history of alleged beatings which their daughter said were meted out to her by the former professional motorcyclist
Mr Emmett even declined to answer a question from the coroner about whether he had gone on a planned holiday to Belgium, prompting Alexandra Felix, the lawyer representing Ms Elson’s family, to question how answering the query could possibly be incriminating.
Detectives believed Ms Elson had been trying to retrieve her wedding ring while on her honeymoon when she slipped and fell, the inquest heard.
However, her family complained about a history of alleged beatings which their daughter said were meted out to her by the former professional motorcyclist.
The coroner had put to Mr Emmett a series of allegations heard during the course of the inquest about beatings he had allegedly meted out during their relationship.
These included an occasion on July 31, 2011 when the pair were to go on holiday to Belgium but Mr Emmett had allegedly left Ms Elson with an injury to her ear which required stitches and had thrown her out, the inquest heard.
Mr Emmett was also said to have hit her once a week, leaving her with bruising described as a ‘trout pout’, taken her money and admitted to her university friend that he domestically abused her, the coroner said.
To all of the questions, Mr Emmett simply said: ‘I decline to answer that.’
A lawyer representing Mr Emmett, Robert Morris, insisted the questions could be incriminatory so his client had the right not to answer.
Ms Elson fell to her death from a fourth-storey window at the Jumeirah Creekside Hotel in Dubai (pictured). Mr Emmett said his wife had been reaching over their balcony in the honeymoon suite to try and retrieve her wedding ring when she fell
Mr Emmett, a former professional Grand Prix racer, was asked to give his account of the events leading up to Ms Elson’s death. The hearing continues
Ms Hewitt, who asked all the questions despite not getting an answer, said: ‘Would you tell me why it was that you continued with the relationship with Abigail and indeed proceeded to marriage, if she did from time to time make false allegations against you of this nature, given they might involve your arrest and possibly prosecution?’
Again, Mr Emmett declined to answer and the coroner moved on to ask him about his marriage.
The family questioned the legitimacy of a beach wedding between Ms Elson and Mr Emmett, which took place at a biker’s church in South Africa, stating they felt the young bride did not ‘look right.’
A three-year police probe began with investigators from Surrey Police’s major crime unit arresting Mr Emmett on suspicion of murder when he returned to the UK in December 2013, but no action was ever taken against the father-of-three. He has always denied any wrong doing.
At the inquest, Emmett was asked to give his account of the events leading up to Ms Elson’s death. The hearing continues.