Bankrupt tycoon's inquest opens
A coroner has formally opened an inquest into the death of bankrupt property tycoon Scot Young, whose body was found impaled on railings at the base of luxury flats earlier this month.
Mr Young, 52, who was sent to prison during a vitriolic and public divorce row over a multimillion-pound settlement, died at Montagu Square, Marylebone, central London, on December 8 in what is said to have been a "grisly" and "brutal" scene.
Westminster assistant coroner Angela Hodes opened the inquest during a hearing lasting barely two minutes.
Coroner's officer Rosalind Tolson confirmed Dundee-born Mr Young's body was discovered "impaled on railings" and there were no suspicious circumstances.
He was identified by his brother-in-law Guy van Ristell, with details supplied to the police by his daughter Sasha.
No members of Mr Young's family or friends were present at the hearing, which was adjourned until January 12.
Noelle Reno, 30, his American model girlfriend and one of the stars of the Ladies Of London reality TV show, said in a statement that she was "distraught by the sudden loss of my best friend" and wanted to "grieve in peace".
Mr Young's ex-wife Michelle, 50, with whom he had two daughters, had been locked in a long legal battle with him.
The couple, who started a relationship in 1989, separated in 2006.
In March, 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.
In November last year, Mr Justice Moor assessed Mr Young to be worth £40 million - after analysing evidence at a trial - and said Mrs Young was entitled to half of that.
The judge said the businessman might have hidden assets offshore. Mrs Young said she thought he was worth ''billions'' and claimed he had hidden a ''vast fortune''.
Mr Young said he had suffered a financial ''meltdown'' seven years ago and was bankrupt and penniless, with debts adding up to £28 million.
The judge described the litigation - which began more than six years ago - as ''quite extraordinary''.
He said that over the years Mrs Young ran up a legal bill of more than £6 million and employed 13 sets of lawyers and four teams of accountants.
Mr Justice Moor said, when ruling on the Youngs' dispute in November last year : ''It is a sad fact that both parties have suffered from serious ill-health during the course of these proceedings.
''I have made orders preventing the media from reporting any details in relation to the husband and I would have made a similar order in relation to the wife had I been asked. There is, however, no restriction against reporting what now follows.''
He added: ''I do not intend to deal further with health issues other than to say three things. First, there have been suggestions by the wife at times that the husband was feigning his ill-health. I reject that completely. I have seen the medical reports and I accept them.
''Second, I do accept that the strain of this litigation is likely to have been a contributing factor to the ill-health of both these parties.
"Third, I do not consider it necessary to go into further detail because it does not appear to me that their health is relevant to the exercise I have to perform.
''So far as the wife is concerned, I very much hope that her ill-health is completely behind her. So far as the husband is concerned, he has not said that he is unable to work going forward.
''Provided he takes his medication and absent the strain of these proceedings, I am satisfied that he will be able to control his health difficulties and rebuild his life.''
Mr Young and Ms Reno recently appeared together in Ladies Of London, alongside model Caprice and other London socialites.
The programme is similar to the Real Housewives franchise and the final episode was shown earlier this month on ITVBe.
During the series, which also starred socialite and businesswoman Caroline Stanbury and the late Alexander McQueen's muse Annabelle Neilson, Ms Reno referred to Mr Young's divorce battle and the press coverage of it.
Cameras followed the couple as they viewed plush places to rent in London.