A landlord who allegedly had debts of £5m is believed to have killed himself.
Police found the body of Charles Cole, 50, at his home in Devon, after concerns were raised for his wellbeing.
Cole operated an 84-property lettings business, with homes in Yorkshire, which he began in 2000.
By 2007, Cole and his wife, Iona, owned luxury cars and their home, bought mortgage free for £600,000 in 1998 by profit made from refurbishing a house left to them by Cole’s father, was worth £2.25m.
However, this lifestyle fuelled financial trouble, when Cole sent his three eldest children to public school and his youngest to prep school.
The couple apparently paid £100,000 per year on school fees and were laden with the cost of maintaining their 214-acre manor house.
In 2007, Cole invested in a Romanian property project, due to be developed into a luxury housing complex for Bucharest professionals.
But the scheme never manifested and the couple were left with nothing. The children were taken out of school, and home educated.
At the time, Cole said: “I feel like a man castrated – unable to do what I should for my family. My naivety has destroyed the plans I had for my children.”1
It is unknown whether the family’s debts were ever cleared, but they began a glamping business earlier this year, with campers paying £170 a night to stay on their land.
Cole’s body was discovered on 22nd September in the grounds of his home.
A Devon and Cornwall Police spokesperson says: “Police were called at around 1.40pm on Tuesday, September 22nd. The caller was concerned for the welfare of a 50-year-old man from Crediton.
“Officers searched a property in Poughill, Crediton, where the body of a man was found within the grounds.
“His family have been informed. The death is not being treated as suspicious.”1