Former government watchdog CEO took own life ahead of fraud trial

Charles Taylor found at Hermitage home after consuming lethal mix of drink and drugs, inquest hears

Chris Ord


Chris Ord

Former government watchdog CEO took own life ahead of fraud trial

A FORMER chief executive of a government financial think tank committed suicide after allegedly defrauding the organisation of almost £600,000, an inquest heard today (Thursday).

Charles Taylor of Hermitage took a lethal overdose of alcohol and prescription drugs on May 14 this year after being charged with the theft from the International Centre for Financial Regulation (ICFR) in 2014.

He had been due to meet with his solicitor that day.

The financial watchdog, which was supported by funds from major banks such as Goldman Sachs, Barclays and the Corporation of London, was set up by the government in 2009 before falling into administration in 2012.

An inquest held at Reading Coroners Court heard how Mr Taylor, who was employed as chief financial officer at the ICFR, was found lying motionless on the bed by his wife, Margaret, at their million pound home in Marlston Road.

The 55-year-old was discovered at around 6.20pm next to an empty bottle of vodka and an empty pack of a morphine derivative.

The inquest was told that Mrs Taylor immediately called the ambulance service and was given instructions over the phone to try to resuscitate her husband before paramedics arrived.

Ambulance workers continued CPR for another 20 minutes before Mr Taylor was pronounced dead at 7.01pm.

A suicide note written by Mr Taylor was also later found in the study.

Toxicology tests showed Mr Taylor's blood alcohol levels to be more than five times the legal limit of alcohol (400mg per 100mg of blood) as well as a concentrated amount of morphine, which the post mortem doctor confirmed was enough to be fatal.

According to a statement from Mrs Margaret Taylor, who was not present at the inquest, her husband had been struggling to cope with the death of his mother in 2012 and had suffered a breakdown that same year.

He had been diagnosed with hypertension and depression and had gone missing for a week in 2012 while due to be at a conference in Germany.

Mr Taylor had also been declared bankrupt after losing his job with the ICFR and was struggling to find work.

In November 2012 Mr Taylor was arrested by City of London Police and in January 2014 was charged with fraud by abuse of position in relation to the internal theft of almost £600,000 and false accounting.

The inquest also heard a statement from Mr Taylor's solicitor who referred to his client as someone who refused to face the truth.

Recording the verdict assistant coroner for Berkshire Miss Emma Jones said: “In this case I have to bear in mind the following factors, Mr Taylor had lost his job and was in considerable financial difficulty having been declared bankrupt.

“In November 2012 he had suffered a break down and went missing for a week.

“I also have to note the reference in the solicitor comments that he had not been facing up to things.

“Taking all of the above into consideration that Mr Taylor took his own life and that is the formal conclusion that will be recorded today.”

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