Did he die alone? Family demands answers as mysteries remain over death of 'gifted' property developer (From Bournemouth Echo)
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Family demands answers as mysteries remain over death of 'gifted' property developer Paul Banyard
THE family of a property developer found dead earlier this year have quizzed police about the role his girlfriend played in his death.
Paul Banyard’s body was found at Images apartment block in New Street, Poole on March 29 after friends became concerned about his welfare.
At an inquest, sister Susan Eggleton and her husband Graham said questions had been left unanswered.
Mrs Eggleton asked Detective Inspector Michael Mullen, who led the investigation, why Mr Banyard’s girlfriend Tania Kreimeia had not been charged with a criminal offence in the wake of his death.
“She may or may not have been there when he died,” she said. Her husband added: “Morally, she is accountable.”
Mr Banyard, pictured, took an overdose on Monday, March 18, eleven days before his body was found.
Paramedics were met by Ms Kreimeia at the door, and found him unconscious but breathing with pupils “like pinpoints” and with “recent” track marks down both arms.
After he regained consciousness, Mr Banyard told the ambulance crew he had not taken heroin before.
Mrs Eggleton said: “If he told paramedics it was the first time he had taken it, it’s unlikely he would have had the skill to administer it, particularly with his right hand as he was left-handed.”
Det Insp Mullen said: “My understanding is that she (Ms Kreimeia) had assisted him in taking heroin, which is not unusual when someone takes heroin (for the first time).
“Tania told us during the investigation (into Mr Banyard’s death) that she did assist him. Whether that meant sticking a needle in his arm or preparing it (we don’t know).”
He added that Ms Kreimeia had been “uncooperative” with police.
When Mr Banyard’s body was found, the door to his flat was ajar and Mrs Eggleton said make-up, the contraceptive pill and underwear was in the property, adding: “It looks like she (Ms Kreimeia) left in a hurry.”
The coroner also heard that police believe Mr Banyard died on March 21 or 22, but Ms Kreimeia told police she had seen him on the weekend of March 23 and 24.
However, Det Insp Mullen told the coroner there was not enough evidence to prosecute Ms Kreimeia with a crime, adding: “Could we prove she administered the heroin that led to his death? No, we could not.”
A post-mortem discovered evidence of heroin or cocaine use, but was unable to ascertain cause of death due to decomposition.
Bournemouth, Poole and East Dorset Coroner Sheriff Payne concluded that Mr Banyard’s death was caused by the abuse of illicitly obtained drugs.
Life of a ‘gifted’ man
Paul Banyard went to Castle Court Preparatory School and Middlesex University, where he gained a masters degree in micro electronic design.
He competed in clay pigeon shooting for Great Britain, representing his country in the world games in Australia, where the team won gold and he took an individual silver medal.
The Poole-born property developer first became a company director at the age of 26, holding six directorships with firms including Images Management Ltd and Countryfile Homes Ltd.
His business Keystone Homes had gone into liquidation before his death at 43.
Friends described him as “gifted, honest and smart”.
A 41-year-old woman was arrested on suspicion of drug offences following his death, but was released without charge in September.
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