A former British millionaire who was declared bankrupt and jailed for crashing his £140,000 Porsche into a tree while high on drugs died of a heroin overdose in a luxury Dubai hotel, a court has heard.
Ex-property tycoon Martin Skinner, 42, from Chelsea, west London, was found dead at the five-star Grand Plaza Mövenpick Media City in Dubai on May 11.
West London Coroner's Court heard how the dad-of-one had been battling drug addiction for many years, which resulted in him going to prison for crashing his Porsche 911 GT3 into a tree in Worthing, West Sussex, while high on cocaine.
The incident also led him to lose his £500 million property firms Inspire Asset Management and Inspired Developments London before being declared bankrupt.
Mr Skinner's family did not attend the short hearing, but the coroner read out a number of documents.
His former partner Magdalena Skinner said in a statement: "Martin was an ambitious and smart businessman, he established a successful business as a property developer. He lost his father at a young age but it did not stop him from being a loving family man."
She said he was a "car fanatic" who loved travel and tennis, but for "many years" had been unwell due to drug addiction, the Mirror reports.
Ms Skinner said: "He was in and out of rehab but was never mentally strong enough to fight his addiction. It resulted in him losing his business and being declared bankrupt.
"He was unable to come back from his addiction, which cost him everything."
The coroner also heard from Mr Skinner's GP at Knightsbridge Medical Centre, who said his patient had struggled for 15 years with cocaine addiction and had been to rehabs including The Priory.
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A forensic report from a hospital in Dubai said morphine was found in Mr Skinner's blood and urine in a "concentration which would produce death".
Senior coroner Chinyere Inyama said: "The morphine is there from the use of heroin."
Mr Skinner's death was "drug related", the coroner concluded.
Worthing Magistrates' Court heard he was driving the luxury car so fast the engine flew out, and his female passenger had to be put in an induced coma for a week, suffering life-changing injuries.
The court heard the pair had gone on a drive to the shops but the woman asked him to slow down because he was driving so fast that everything was a blur.
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However, he ignored her pleas and ended up crashing into a tree.
The judge branded the property developer "arrogant" as he jailed him for 22 weeks for careless driving.
Mr Skinner is believed to have been in Dubai to help rebuild his portfolio, posting a series of social media updates before his death including: "Living my best. Homeless… but no longer bankrupt life."
Olga Velskaia, 36, told the Mirror last month she was in the UAE with Mr Skinner, but she went to stay in another hotel the day before he died because they had argued.
Ms Velskaia said: "He called me and called all night, but I slept. I regret and blame myself that I didn’t come.
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"He was the most creative person I know, wherever he went he captured the attention of any company and public.
"He was incredibly charismatic and talented. He could not be alone, he always needed people around him.
"He helped everyone as best he could, even when he himself needed help.
"Sometimes I got tired of so many people in the house, but I understood that he needed it.
"What I admired was that he was not afraid of public opinion and never judged anyone.
"[He] scolded me if I was worried about what people would say. He always did what he wanted.
"He was always in the spotlight, and even when he was gone, people do not stop talking about him. He left as brightly as he lived."
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