The son of steel billionaire Lord Swaraj Paul committed suicide after he blamed himself for the downfall of the family business.
Angad Paul, 45, jumped to his death from his penthouse apartment in Central London on 8 November, just weeks after the family business Caparo Industries collapsed leaving hundreds of people out of work.
An inquest into Mr Paul’s death opened at Westminster Coroner’s Court on Thursday.
Mr Paul was the son of Lord Paul who attended the hearing. Lord Paul had founded the Caparo business in 1968 with a £5000 loan and helped it grow into a multi-billion pound company.
Along the way, the family became fabulously wealthy. However, Caparo – much like countless other companies – became a victim of the global steel crisis last year.
Mr Paul had taken over the running of Caparo from his father in 1996.
Westminster Coroner’s Court heard Mr Angad told a colleague that “although he was CEO of the company, he had no real control of the company affairs” and that his father “took all the decisions”.
Mr Paul became very depressed when the company was put into administration, and, although he believed it was the “wrong decision”, there was nothing he could do, the court was told.
He was concerned about how he was going to pay the mortgage and feared that he would be held responsible for the failure of the company.
Mr Paul’s wife Michelle – who described him as her “best friend” – told the court that he had had a history of depression.
She said: “He was the happiest person I ever knew. I had no idea that he had suicidal thoughts.”
The court heard Mr Paul sold all four of his sports cars and began wearing his cheapest watch, saying he did not “deserve nice things” when so many of his workers were going to lose their jobs.
On November 8, Mrs Paul left their flat in Portland Place, central London, to get a cup of coffee, leaving her husband at home with their two children.
She later found him lying on the first-floor flat roof.
She told the court she told their children their father had suffered a “heart attack to the brain”.
Assitant Coroner Shirley Radcliffe ruled that Mr Paul killed himself while “the balance of his mind was disturbed”.
Outside of steel, Mr Paul was involved in a number of business ventures, ranging from the Caparo T1, which was the world’s fastest supercar when it was launched in 2006 to being an executive producer on several Guy Ritchie films.