A property tycoon who piled up £40million debts has been turfed out of his Mayfair home just weeks after leaving jail for drug-driving.
Watching his business empire crumble before his eyes, Martin Skinner, 41, embarked on a cocaine blitz to work 22-hour days in a desperate effort to save his firm.
The ‘micro-apartment’ mogul claimed his £1,000-a-week drug splurge saw him on the brink of a new finance which could rescue the business, which he said was tanking because of Brexit.
But in August last year he crashed his Porsche 911 into a tree at breakneck speed while under the influence which resulted in his female passenger pulled out of the mangled wreckage with life-changing brain injuries.
After being declared bankrupt this month, Mr Skinner’s downward spiral was dealt a final blow last week when he was evicted from his home in the exclusive millionaire enclave of in London.
Skinner (above) was admonished by magistrates in September when he turned up for his trial two hours late driving a McLaren super car – blaming his alarm clock for failing to wake him
Martin Skinner appears to have not a care in the world as he leaves prison for crashing his Porsche in Worthing, West Sussex, in August last year, seriously injuring his female passenger
Skinner hit a tree so hard and at such a speed that the engine flew out of the back of his Porsche 911 GT3 – which has a top speed of 190mph – tearing through the back end of the car
‘It has been a hard slog for three years. I was using cocaine to keep myself a wake for 22 hours a day,’ he told the Times.
Mr Skinner made headlines following his release from jail by giving the thumbs up.
The jet-setting property developer had previously got into hot water with magistrates for turning up to his trial in a Maclaren supercar two hours late, claiming his alarm clock hadn’t gone off.
He was convicted of careless driving and failing to provide a specimen to police.
He was jailed for 22 weeks and banned from driving until May 2022.
While he was in jail, Skinner says his property company has gone bust and he is penniless
In the incident, his 30-year-old female passenger received serious brain injuries.
Skinner was showing off to the woman before the smash, Worthing magistrates’ court in West Sussex heard.
Police found that on the morning of the crash, he tried to set up a supercar trip to France, but his friends turned down the idea.
Instead, he decided to ‘go rallying’ to a business contact’s home in Rudgwick.
That evening, he persuaded his passenger to come for a drive in his 190mph Porsche.
She told the court that he drove so quickly everything was a blur, so she asked him to slow down because of the winding road.
But he ignored her and sped round a bend at such speed that he lost control and crashed. She was flown to King’s College Hospital in London and spent a week in a coma. Thirteen months later, she is still recovering from her injuries.
The tycoon was under the influence of the Class A drug at the time of the Porsche crash, which he said he was taking as struggled to cope with the stress of meeting investors’ demands
Skinner tested positive for cocaine at the scene. But after being taken to Guildford Hospital he refused to give a legally admissible sample to measure the drug in his blood.
Initially, he pleaded not guilty, blaming the road surface for the crash – even though there had only been two crashes on that stretch in ten years – and claiming he was not in a fit state to give a sample to police while in hospital.
However, following legal advice he changed his plea to guilty.
Speaking to MailOnline after his release, Skinner said his once jet-set lifestyle flying first class, managing a £500m property portfolio came crashing down along with his marriage thanks to his addiction to cocaine.
He said before his arrest he was struggling to stave off administration for his property firm Inspired Asset Management, which had been badly hit by Brexit and government changes to the buy-to-let market.
‘Before my arrest, I probably slept around eight hours in one week,’ he said.
‘To keep the business going, I put my health and my survival at risk.
‘I was late for court because I was working hard trying to save my business. I slept through my alarms,’ he added.
The father-of-one said he was late to court because he was fighting to save his firm which was hit hard by Brexit and government stamp duty legislation, which affected the buy to let market
‘I was due to set aside an administration order the next day. It went into administration because I wasn’t able to be there.
‘At the time of the court case I didn’t have any money for the train so I had to drive down.
‘Somebody lent me the money to put petrol into the McLaren. All my money was going into the business. Everything.
‘I went into prison with 43p in my bank account and 30p in my pocket. And at the time we had about £500 million in projects.’