Twins who were struggling to cope with the death of their mother died after falling off a cliff carrying their dead parents' ashes in rucksacks.

"Reclusive" brother and sister Muriel and Bernard Burgess, 59, were found dead on New Year's Day at the bottom of the 200ft Langdon Cliffs in Dover.

An inquest into their deaths today heard they were discovered by rescue crews who were searching for another man, Scott Enion, who had jumped from the same cliffs that day.

An inquest into all three deaths was heard by senior coroner Patricia Harding, who concluded an open verdict in relation to the twin's death.


She said it was not clear from evidence how the siblings came to fall from the cliff top - whether they jumped or whether their falling was a tragic accident.

The inquest heard Bernard and Muriel had seen a doctor the previous September complaining of being in a low mood since the death of their mother, Muriel Senior, in 2014.

Their father, Bernard Senior, had died in 1984, and since then the siblings remained living with their mother, acting as her carer.

But they had both struggled to deal with their mother's death - although after visiting a GP they had refused anti-depressants.

They had been referred to the GP by the Citizens Advice Bureau, who they had dealt with regarding their financial worries.

When their bodies were found on New Year's Day 2017, both were wearing a rucksack.

One contained human ashes, enclosed in a carrier bag, labelled as belonging to Muriel Burgess Senior. The other contained a second bag holding human ashes.

They were not labelled but a search of the twins home, in Cheshire, found an empty wooden box with a plaque for Mr Burgess on it.

But the investigating officer, Detective Sergeant Stuart Ward of Kent Police, said there was no indication the twins were on the cliff top to scatter their parents ashes - which were enclosed in carrier bags and in the rucksacks.

The twins enjoyed prolonged walks together. The manager of the static caravan park where they lived in Elton, Cheshire, told police in the summer of 2016 they had disappeared for three months.

In December 2016 they started their journey towards the south of England.

Det Sgt Ward said: "A walker contacted Kent Police for concern for a male who was sheltering on the cliff top.

"There was worry he was sleeping rough. A police officer attended and located two people who identified themselves as Muriel and Bernard Burgess."

The twins told the officer they traveled to Dover by train as they wanted to walk the White Cliffs of Dover. The officer had no concerns and left them.

Det Sgt Ward described the twins as "reclusive". He said they were both single and neither had children and had not spoken to relatives for several years.

A verdict of suicide was given in the case of former soldier Scott Enion, 45, from Radcliffe in Greater Manchester.

He was in the British Army from 1988 until 1996 and the inquest heard he suffered from depression and had previously experienced Gulf War Syndrome, having previously seen colleagues killed in action.

The inquest also heard Enion had also spoken of being 'racially abused'. He had travelled from his home in Manchester to Dover by coach and train.