Martin Skinner, 42, was found dead at the Grand Plaza Mövenpick Media City in Dubai after struggling with addiction. His inquest this week heard Mr Skinner rebuild his property portfolio after spending time in jail in 2019 for crashing his £140k Porsche while high on cocaine.
The accident, which happened in Worthing, West Sussex, left his female passenger in a coma for a week. Mr Skinner ploughed the red Porsche 911 GT3 into a tree.
His addiction to the Class A drug also cost him losing his £500 million property firms Inspire Asset Management and Inspired Developments London and being declared bankrupt.
But the inquest at West London Coroner’s Court heard the father of one was always “ambitious and smart”.
Mr Skinner’s former partner Magdalena 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.
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.”
No family members attended the brief hearing, which involved the coroner reading several documents into the record.
Mr Skinner’s GP at Knightsbridge Medical Centre said his patient had struggled for 15 years with cocaine addiction and had been to rehabs including The Priory.
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.
When Mr Skinner was jailed, 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.
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.
“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.”
This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: UK Feed