A police chief has admitted using work emails in a bid to help a woman retrieve her billionaire ex-husband’s missing money after he plunged to his death.
Michelle Young, 55, was awarded a £26million settlement after a messy eight-year split from Scot Young, a property developer who made his fortune in the 1980s and was famed for his lavish lifestyle.
Mrs Young consistently claimed she never received any money from Mr Young who claimed he had lost the bulk of his fortune, then declared bankruptcy and spent time in prison in 2013 for refusing to disclose his finances to a court.
Mr Young was then found dead in 2014 before any money could be handed over, impaled on a railing outside a central London flat.
Michelle Young, 55, (left, during her High Court divorce settlement hearing) was awarded a £26million settlement after a messy eight-year split from Scot Young (right, during his High Court divorce settlement hearing), a property developer who made his fortune in the 1980s and was famed for his lavish lifestyle
Thames Valley’s Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) Anthony Stansfeld sent a warning email on behalf of Mrs Young to the detective she hired, despite police not being involved
His family have said before that they are convinced he was murdered and a coroner also ruled there was insufficient evidence to conclude that it had been suicide.
Still, the 55-year-old continued to chase her former spouse’s money after his death – even hiring a private investigator.
Michael Murrin said that he had been employed by Michelle to retrieve two computer hard drives which contained information about Mr Young’s assets.
But he has since claimed that, having retrieved the drives, there was then a disagreement over payment – so he had refused to hand them over.
This led Thames Valley’s Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) Anthony Stansfeld to send a warning email on behalf of Mrs Young to the hired detective – despite police not being involved.
Scot and Michelle Young on their wedding day in 1995, they split in 2006 after 11 years together before entering a bitter divorce battle over his fortune
It said: ‘I have taken an interest in the case of Michelle Young.
‘Unless you have a signed contract with Ms Young which shows a clear contract with her, I suggest you hand back the hard drives to her before this becomes a police matter.
‘As far as I can see, you may be able to show otherwise, this appears to me to be extortion.’
Mr Murrin replied to Mr Stansfeld the following day, asking why he had got involved in the case and accusing him of ‘abusing his office by issuing threats of criminal investigation’.
Mr Murrin then contacted local newspaper the Oxford Mail in order to make the public aware of what Mr Stansfeld had done.
Mr Stansfeld, whose job is to control police budgets, said he sent the email to Mr Murrin because Mrs Young asked him to help.
The late Scot Young, Michelle Young their daughters Scarlet and Sasha
Speaking on the phone, he said: ‘The trouble is, police do not investigate fraud well. I run a victim group and I do my best to support victims.
‘I do not have a personal relationship with Ms Young – I have met hundreds of people. I have never met her [Michelle Young], she is a member of the consortium I go to their meetings in London.
‘I have no financial interest in Ms Young – Ms, Mr, I have no idea. I have hundreds of emails, but I don’t always pass them on to police.’
Despite claiming never to have met Mrs Young, photos and videos on the internet show Mr Stansfeld sat next to her on a panel of an organisation called the International Tribunal for Natural Justice – which describes itself as ‘a court for the people and by the people’.
She has described Anthony Stansfeld as ‘a hero’, and added: ‘Anthony is helping as many people as he can. He is a very good man.’
But she refused to discuss the case further.
Despite Michelle’s endorsement of the PCC, Mr Stansfeld also reportedly threatened the local newspaper if it ran an article over the email.
He said: ‘I am not going to be open with you in the future if you run this story.’
Scottish-born Scot made his riches in property and gambling on telecoms – but also reportedly made large sums working as a fixer for the super-rich.
Scot Young was a self-made billionaire who grew up in a humble street in Dundee and amassed a fortune in the Eighties property boom. He is pictured here aged 36
He himself lived a lavish lifestyle, riding around in luxury sports cars and wearing designer clothes.
The couple, who married in 1995 and who share two children, Scarlet and Sasha, lived on a 12-bedroom, 200-acre plot in Surrey.
Mrs Young had previously claimed that he was ‘worth a few billion at least’ and said her husband had hidden assets of more than £400million in offshore accounts.
Things started to go sour in 2006 and a protracted divorce battle ensued – with Scot agreeing to marry an American-born model.
But this never happened as, in 2014, he was found impaled on railings in Montagu Square, London.
The cause of his death has never been ascertained and an inquest in 2015 refused to label it as suicide.
In 2017 it was revealed that Scotland Yard had received a transcript of a phone call between Mr and Mrs Young that took place five weeks before his death.
In the call she said she had uncovered links between him and exiled Russian oligarch Boris Berezovsky.
But he warned her to stop investigating his contacts and his life was in danger.
Mr Murrin has since made a complaint to the Home Office and Home Secretary Priti Patel about Mr Stansfeld’s actions.
On November 7, the Home Office replied to Mr Murrin, saying it was ‘unable to respond’ to the allegations about Mr Stansfeld.
It added that if he wanted to make a complaint about the Police and Crime Commissioner he should write to Mr Stansfeld’s office directly.
he former family home where Mr and Mrs Young lived with their daughters in Woodperry House in Oxfordshire
The Oxford Mail also contacted the Thames Valley Police and Crime Panel, which is supposed to hold the commissioner accountable for his decisions.
It also asked if anyone had made a complaint to it about this case, or if it was interested in the information.
The panel responded saying it had not received any complaints about the incident, and said if the paper wanted to make an official complaint it should write to Mr Stansfeld’s office.
Police and crime commissioners are voted in by members of the public and stand as candidates for political parties.
Mr Stansfeld was the first PCC to be elected for the Thames Valley in 2012, standing as a Conservative candidate.
He and his deputy, Matthew Barber, have to follow a code of conduct – which they both agree to when signing up.
There are seven main rules which they have to follow: selflessness, integrity, objectivity, accountability, openness, honesty and leadership.
As part of the code, both the PCC and the deputy had to agree to: ‘Not to use the resources of the elected local policing body improperly for my personal benefit or for the benefit of myself, my friends, or any other person in relation to any business interest of mine.’
There are currently no allegations that either Mr Stansfeld or Mr Barber are in breach of the code.
The PCC is held accountable by the Police and Crime panel for the Thames Valley, which is made up of 18 local councillors from across Oxfordshire, Berkshire and Buckinghamshire.
The panel is not investigating Mr Stansfeld using his professional email account to intervene in Mrs Young’s case.