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Divorce-row tycoon Scot Young 'under huge stress' before death fall

Published 16/07/2015

The body of bankrupt tycoon Scot Young was found impaled on railings at the base of luxury flats in London
The body of bankrupt tycoon Scot Young was found impaled on railings at the base of luxury flats in London

Property tycoon Scot Young felt under "huge stress" from his bankruptcy and high-profile divorce in the months before his body was discovered outside luxury flats, an inquest has heard.

The 52-year-old, who was sent to prison during a vitriolic and public divorce row over a multimillion-pound settlement, died in Montagu Square, Marylebone, central London, on December 8, in what witnesses described as a ''grisly'' and ''brutal'' scene.

An inquest at Westminster Coroner's Court in London today heard the cause of death was "multiple injuries consistent with a fall from height".

In a statement read to the court by coroner Shirley Radcliffe, Mr Young's GP Dr Soraya Meer said he had been treated for bipolar affective disorder and for cocaine, cannabis and alcohol abuse since 2011.

"He reported being under huge stress due to his bankruptcy and high profile divorce," she said.

Mr Young was jailed for six months for contempt of court during his high-profile matrimonial row with former partner Michelle as she accused him of hiding away more than £400 million.

A High Court hearing was told that Mr Young's estranged wife remained empty-handed more than three months after she was awarded £20 million by a judge.

Mr Young's American model girlfriend, Noelle Reno, one of the stars of the Ladies Of London reality TV show, said in a statement following his death that she was ''distraught by the sudden loss of my best friend'' and wanted to ''grieve in peace''.

Mr Young and Ms Reno appeared together in the show, alongside model Caprice and other London socialites.

Psychiatrist Dr Rachel Berg told the inquest that Mr Young had taken an overdose of sleeping pills and anti-depressants in 2006, which she described as self-harm of "moderate intent".

She said that despite receiving treatment for repeated mental health episodes which required him to be sectioned under the Mental Health Act, he had not thought of hurting himself again until shortly before he died.

But days before he was found dead, Mr Young complained of having trouble sleeping and paranoid thoughts.

Dr Berg told the coroner's court: "He felt there was a conspiracy to kill him and felt that his girlfriend might be a part of the conspiracy because she was turning the lights on and off."

After hearing a male voice telling him it was "the end of the world" he requested admission to hospital on December 4 2014, where he reported having thoughts of harming himself again.

"He said his children acted as a protective force, that his daughters were preventing him from doing that, that they were something worth living for and actually prevented him from doing that," Dr Berg told the inquest.

Mr Young admitted to "heavy" cocaine use at this time, which he described as unusual for him, and that he had been drinking "six large vodkas" a day, the inquest heard.

The court heard Mr Young was discharged from hospital on the day of his death after his latest psychotic episode was considered to be "drug-induced".

Dr Berg said: "He wasn't voicing suicidal thoughts or thoughts of hurting himself. I found him very stable in his mental state. There was absolutely nothing inappropriate or unusual about how he was behaving."

Dr Berg said she was "shocked" to learn Mr Young had died hours later. "It was really unexpected," she told the court. "It was certainly not something I would have predicted at the time I saw him."

The court was played a voicemail message Mr Young left for his daughter Scarlett minutes before his death. In the message, he said: "Hi darling. Just want to say love you loads. Miss you terribly," before he added: "Love you. Bye."

Commenting on the message, Dr Berg told the court: "He loved his daughters. It was a caring message. It felt very normal to me. "He seemed very well and in the same state as when he left hospital."

Dr Nathaniel Cary, a pathologist who carried out a post-mortem examination on Mr Young's body, told the inquest that the cause of death had been "multiple injuries consistent with a fall from height and impaling".

The victim suffered "extensive damage" in the chest area, including his heart, both lungs and the aorta, with no evidence to suggest he had been forcibly gripped before dying, Dr Cary said.

He told the inquest: "I concluded that death would have been almost instantaneous upon impact, in other words he would have felt nothing about it."

Emergency services found that the door to the upper floor flat was locked from inside and that a forced entry had not been made.

There was a Diet Coke, a lighter and a packet of cigarettes on the sill next to the sash window where Mr Young fell from.

The pathologist confirmed that Mr Young's girlfriend had called police before his death to say that he had threatened to jump.

Dr Susan Paterson, who conducted a toxicology report, said cocaine was not found in Mr Young's blood following his death.

However levels of cocaine detected in his hair, which indicated drug use over the last six months, were "very, very high," she said.

Giving evidence, Ms Reno - who dated Mr Young on and off for five-and-a-half years - said he told her he had taken cocaine every day for three weeks before he was admitted to hospital in early December.

She said the pair were still living together but were no longer in a relationship when he unexpectedly turned up at their flat on December 8 after he was discharged.

Ms Reno said she had arranged for a locksmith to change the locks at the property that day.

"I had tried to get him out of the flat for a long time," she told the court. "If he didn't go to a recovery programme, I couldn't have him in my life."

Ms Reno said Mr Young pleaded with her to allow him to stay but she refused.

"He was desperate, more than I have ever seen him. Desperate in a different kind of way.

"He was completely sober. It was the first time I had actually seen him cry."

Ms Reno said she dropped her Blackberry phone in the toilet as Mr Young became "angry and irate" when she repeatedly refused to allow him to stay at the flat.

The court heard Mr Young rang Ms Reno after she left the property and said: "I'm going to jump out of the window. Stay on the phone, you will hear me".

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