– Scot Young: Tycoon involved in £20 million divorce battle falls 60ft to his death (Telegraph, Dec 10, 2014):
The financier impaled himself on iron railings less than a year after acrimonious legal battle ended
A financier at the heart of one of Britain’s biggest divorce battles has died after falling from his £3 million home and impaling himself on iron railings.
Scot Young, 52, suffered horrific injuries after plummeting four storeys from a window of his luxury central London penthouse.
His death comes almost a year after an extraordinary legal fight with his ex-wife concluded at the High Court.
Michelle Young, 49, won a £20 million payout after a seven-year legal battle but declared the sum a “disgrace” and is never believed to have received the cash.
She said she thought Mr Young was worth “billions” and claimed that he had hidden his fortune.
Mr Young insisted that he was penniless after suffering a financial “meltdown” seven years ago, with debts totalling £28 million.
The judge criticised both parties in a damning judgment.
He said Mrs Young had run up a legal bill of more than £6 million and employed 13 sets of lawyers and four sets of accountants.
Mr Young’s body was found by residents in Marylebone on Monday afternoon.
Firefighters had to cut through the railings with an angle grinder before the body could be removed.
A clearly distraught Mrs Young told The Telegraph on the telephone: “This started at 11pm last night. I am with my daughters, we have been to hell and back.”
Neighbours said the tycoon had moved into the duplex apartment a few months ago with his American girlfriend Noelle Reno, 30.
Gary Sutton 57, who was working nearby when Mr Young fell, told the Daily Mail: “It was a horrific scene. The police were visibly shocked – one said it was the worst thing he had seen on the job. It was all very distressing.”
Another witness said: “The police had covered the body but I could see from behind that he was on the spike because I could see his feet dangling towards the basement floor.
“It was horrible, I had to divert my eyes.” The three-bedroom property from which Mr Young fell is next door to an apartment once owned by the Beatles drummer Ringo Starr.
Flats in the square sell for more than £3 million and fetch rents of up to £8,000 a month.
Mr and Mrs Young married in 1995 and over the course of their 11-year marriage, Mr Young became spectacularly successful.
The couple moved into a nine-bedroom Palladian house in Oxfordshire, with servants, and had a £6 million beach house in Florida and a £3 million yacht. Mrs Young claims her wedding ring cost £1 million and when they went out for meals they would spend £5,000 a time.
Then, in November 2006, as the couple began to grow apart, Mrs Young was told by a representative of her husband that he had lost all his money following a “meltdown”.
After they separated, a bitter battle for cash began.
Mr Young offered his a £300 million settlement in 2009. But the next year he claimed he was bankrupted by a disastrous deal and could not pay £27,500-a-month maintenance for his ex-wife and their daughters, Scarlet, 21, and Sasha, 19.
Mrs Young demanded half his assets, claiming he was worth “a few billion pounds at least” but had hidden his cash in a series of secret investments.
In January last year, Mr Young, whose social circle included Topshop boss Philip Green and Russian oligarch Boris Berezovsky, was jailed for six months for refusing to disclose full details of his wealth to the court.
Handing down his ruling in the divorce case last November, Mr Justice Moor said he could find only £45 million and ordered Mr Young to pay £20 million within 28 days.
He then launched a scathing attack on the couple, saying he felt “nothing but sympathy” for their two children.
Mr Justice Moor said: “It is undoubtedly the most difficult financial remedy case I have ever come across.
“This case has been extraordinary even by the standards of the most bitter matrimonial breakdowns.
“Extremely serious allegations have been bandied around like confetti. In many respects this is about as bad an example of how to litigate as I have encountered.”
Mrs Young is not believed to have received the £20 million. In March, her lawyer asked a judge to order a meeting of Mr Young’s creditors as she continues to try to trace assets.
Miss Reno, an entrepreneur and model who is originally from Seattle, stood by Mr Young after he was jailed and said earlier this year that the loss of his wealth “kills him”.
A spokesman for Miss Reno said she was too upset to speak about the tragedy last night.
A Met Police spokesman said: “A man, believed aged in his early 50s, was pronounced dead at the scene. The death is not being treated as suspicious at this time.”