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A property tycoon with a history of cocaine use has been found dead in a Dubai hotel room.

A friend has claimed he had started using the drug again.

Martin Skinner, 42, first hit the headlines in 2018 after he took cocaine and crashed his £140,000 Porsche 911 GT3 in West Sussex, leaving his female passenger with life changing injuries.

She had begged him to slow down but he hit a tree with such force that the engine came out of the car. Mr Skinner was branded "arrogant" by the judge, who said he had been "showing off" at the wheel.

He was jailed for 22 weeks for careless driving, reports MirrorOnline.

The conviction ruined his reputation and his £500 million Inspired Asset Management property business subsequently went bust, with Mr Skinner blaming Brexit and government policy changes which impacted the buy to let market.

He was on a global trip trying to rebuild his business empire, and five days ago posted a pic on his popular Instagram site saying he was he was "Living my best. Homeless… but no longer bankrupt life."

The Focus website has claimed he passed away from a heart attack, but in a WhatsApp group "RIP Martin Skinner" – set up to mourn his passing – a friend said: "I know this is hard to hear, but I was literally talking to him about the drug he was using right before he died.

" I asked Martin are you safe doing cocaine because why are your eyes rolling in the back of your head . . . he just laughed. I was talking to him about how I needed him to turn his life around . . . that I needed him to clean up and check himself into rehab."

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Another told the Daily Mail Online: "He was a 1000mph man. Always in the fast lane. He owed a lot of people a lot of money, but that never seemed to stop him from partying."

Mr Wheeler was in Dubai with his girlfriend Olga Velskaya who confirmed his death on Instagram. She said: "Yes Martin passed away. Don't ask me what happened! I love you baby so much! I can’t believe it! I'm sure you're in a better world right now!"

She said the couple had rowed on the night of his death and she had moved to a separate hotel.

She added: "We had a little fight, but we both knew that we would make up. It was a stupid mistake. He called me but I slept, and after one minute, I replied to him but there was no answer anymore."

Mr Skinner's mum Heather told The Sun the father of one was a "wonderful man", but declined to comment further.

  • Brexit
  • Money
  • Dubai
  • On Instagram

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