Scot who tried to blackmail Royal in gay sex scandal found dead

Ian Strachan. A playboy who tried to blackmail the Royal Family over a gay sex scandal killed himself by taking a lethal cocktail of drugs, an inquest heard. Picture: SWNS
Ian Strachan. A playboy who tried to blackmail the Royal Family over a gay sex scandal killed himself by taking a lethal cocktail of drugs, an inquest heard. Picture: SWNS
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A man who tried to blackmail the Royal Family over a gay sex scandal killed himself by taking a lethal cocktail of drugs, an inquest heard.

Ian Strachan, 40, was found dead on Christmas Eve just hours after seeing his mum at his plush flat in Marylebone, central London, the hearing was told.

Strachan, originally from Aberdeen, claimed to be friends with Princes Harry and William, had registered to three separate practices, two GPs and a private clinic to feed his prescription drug habit.

Strachan, who was born Paul Adalsteinsson, used different names - including Paul Stein - to obtain a vast variety of prescription drugs which he popped “like sweets,” the inquest heard.

He had to have his left leg amputated following a 30 feet fall from a balcony in 2013, when he also shattered his pelvis, and was visiting numerous hospitals - including Chelsea and Westminster and St Thomas’ - for surgery.

Strachan was jailed for five years in 2008 after a £50,000 gay sex blackmail plot against a member of the Royal Family, but only served half his five year sentence following a trial at the Old Bailey.

While in Dubai in 2015 a row erupted with authorities over a crashed Audi R8 and he spent 10 months in the Gulf country before making a daring escape via Iran, he told his GP.

But, back in Britain last year, he suffered two heart attacks induced by his heavy cocaine usage and became increasingly violent towards his mother, the inquest heard.

He regularly took cocaine and drank heavily to cope with the phantom pain from his amputation, the inquest heard.

And on Christmas Eve he was found collapsed in his flat after consuming a cocktail of prescription drugs mixed with milk.

Toxicology reports showed he had taken cocaine and also tested positive for codeine, maxicodone, xopicone and other prescription drugs.

In the hours before his death he had become aggressive and sent 1am texts to his mum Elizabeth Stratton, who had been for lunch with him the day before and last saw him alive at around 9pm the previous evening.

The text messages read: “You want a body, you have got one.

“It will be a different day tomorrow, I won’t be here.”

Westminster Coroner’s Court heard he was pronounced dead at 6.41pm on Christmas Eve 2016 as a result of respiratory failure due to multi drug poisoning.

Police Constable Michaella Ashley said: “There was dried blood on his nose.

“It was clear he was died as there was hypostatis and riga mortis.

“There was a full suitcase, it was like he had not unpacked yet, as if he had only just moved in.

“There were empty prescription drug capsules on the counter.

“There was a glass and open carton of milk and quite a considerable array of medication. Some capsules had been opened.

“It looked like they had been cut open in the middle, as if someone had emptied the powder and poured into the cup. There was sediment at the bottom.

“There was a litre bottle of vodka in the bin.

“The flat was barricaded, someone had put a table by the door.”

The court heard how Strachan had become aggressive and threatened to kill his mum when she visited him the evening before his death.

PC Ashley said: “When she was at his flat he started drinking vodka and then started becoming aggressive and then she left.”

Westminster Coroner Dr Radcliffe added: “Most days he would drink and take cocaine.

“He suffered from alcohol dependency syndrome.”

During a visit to Dr Al Shakarchi in 2014 Strachan claimed he was a property developer and had fractured his ankle in a helicopter crash in the south of France.

Dr Shakarchi said: “When I first met him he said he was a property developer and had a major crash in the south of France.

“He was suffering from alcohol dependency syndrome and a fracture of his right ankle.

“He escaped from Dubai via Iran. It was all very hairy, according to him.

“He was never at all transparent with me about why the police were perusing him, I did not pry too much.

“When he registered with me in April 2014 I just relied on what he told me and that was where I got the helicopter crash, he came with his mum.

“I did not see any of his records from his surgery until after his death.”

His mum was listed to attend as a witness, but rang up late last night to cancel.

But a statement from her, read to the inquest, said: “Paul was becoming more and more addicted to his pills.

“He would scream at me to give him them when he could not sleep.

“I would call for a doctor to come and see him, but the NHS would just tell me to give him his painkillers.

“In June 2016 he was lashing out at me. He struck me across the face and every four hours was popping pills like sweets.

“All he had to do was call up the GP and order repeats, I had no control over my son.

“The violent outbursts continued and he would complain of pressure inside his head, in periods of remorse he would cry in my arms like a small child.

“Paul wanted help, alas he did not get it before it was possible.

“If Paul had been offered help he would have taken it.

“He wanted nothing more than to marry and have children at some stage.

“It is too late for Paul.”