Ex-British tycoon Scot Young who was ordered to pay estranged wife S$40 million found dead

LONDON - A British financier who was ordered to pay his estranged wife £20 million (S$40 million) in a high-profile divorce case last year was found dead in a gruesome manner early this week.

The body of Mr Scot Young, 52, was discovered on Monday afternoon impaled on a spiky iron fence when he fell four storeys from a window of a £3 million luxury central London Penthouse he shared with his American girlfriend Noelle Reno, The Telegraph reported.

To retrieve his body, firefighters had to cut through the railings with an angle grinder, said the report.

Mr Young's death comes after the high court awarded £20 million to his ex-wife Michelle Young in November last year in one of Britain's most protracted divorce cases which ended after a bitter six-year battle.

The award was a far cry from the £400 million sought by Mrs Young, 50, who has always maintained that her former husband hid his vast fortune - which she speculates at between £400 million and £2 billion - to avoid a costly divorce settlement. Mr Young's case was that he was bankrupt with debts of £28 million.

In an interview with The Straits Times last year, Mrs Young said: "I contributed in the early part of the relationship financially and brought up our daughters."

"I also found some of the properties we lived in where we made many millions in profits... The same goes for any other woman or partner in a long-term relationship or marriage... (They) should be entitled to an equal share of the wealth, whatever the amount may be."

Mr Young leaves behind two daughters with Mrs Young: Scarlet, 21, and Sasha, 19.

Last January, Mr Young was jailed six months for not disclosing full details of his wealth to the court.

He claimed to be broke after losing his billion pound fortune in 2006 and had to depend on generous handouts from his friends - including monthly rental of £4,000 on his apartment - to survive.

His girlfriend, Ms Reno, 30, had told reporters earlier this year that the loss of his wealth "kills him".

Mrs Young is never believed to have received the payout, according to The Telegraph.

A neighbour who saw his body told the Evening Standard: "It is horrific and very sad. My cleaners were here and saw the man's body. They were traumatised.

"It was a very gruesome scene. The body was hanging there for a while."

A Metropolitan Police spokesman said the death was not being treated as suspicious.