An inquest concluded today into the former F1 boss’ death and the court heard how he confessed to his personal assistant he intended to kill himself only hours before he did
Image: Motorsport Images/SplashNews.com)
Formula 1 boss Max Mosley promised to commit suicide, before going out to dinner with his wife, only to return home and take his own life, an inquest was told.
Mr Mosley told his long-term personal assistant that he intended to commit suicide, only hours before he did.
He took his own life, aged 81, at his home in Chelsea last May after dining with his wife.
Westminster Coroner’s court were told that he had recently learned he only had “weeks” to live after being told the chronic bladder and bowel pain he suffered from were incurable.
He was president of the motorsports governing body FIA for 16 years between 1993 and 2009.
A day after he committed suicide, his personal assistant and housekeeper called 999 after they discovered a note on his bedroom door.
It read: “do not enter, call the police” the remote inquiry, attended by witnesses and family, was told.
When officers did enter his bedroom they were met with the chilling image of Mr Mosely on his blood-soaked bed, with a double-barrel shotgun between his legs.
The suicide note on his bedside table was barely legible due to the blood, but officers could make out the words “I had no choice.”
A toxicology report found only therapeutic amounts of the antidepressant citalopram and painkillers.
In a record of his last final moments, his personal assistant of 20 years Henry Alexander said he had gone over at Mr Mosley’s request about 3pm the day before.
He said: “He was sat in an armchair in a desperate way. He spoke to me and said I’d been amazing and thanking me.
“He said he’d had enough, had intentions of killing himself. I begged him to reconsider and said, ‘please, there must be another way’.
“He said he’d made up his mind. When I pleaded with him, asked him if he could give it 24 hours, he said ‘why?’
Mr Alexander said he returned home and sent him texts saying how important he was to his life, which was echoed in his partner’s Paul texts that were also sent to Mr Mosley, in which he responded ‘thank you’.
He later said he last saw him through the window making his way to his wife Jean Mosley’s house a couple of doors down.
Detective Constable Ben Benlounes said Mr Mosley had dinner with her at around 7pm.
He said: “She described him as being in great pain, and he did not eat much. He returned home and he called her to say he was inside the property.
“She described him as being very frail and he did not know where to turn to. He had been too ill and he had very little quality of life.”
Senior Coroner Dr Fiona Wilcox returned to a conclusion of suicide at the end of the inquest.
She said: “Mr Mosley developed diffuse large B cell lymphoma in 2019 and was then largely under the care of Dr McNamara.
“I have explored all treatment options. I have tried chemotherapy, proton beam therapy, some surgical options but none of these were successful.
“In the weeks leading up to his death, Mr Mosley began to accept that his phase of care has progressed to palliative.
“I understand from the evidence that Max had been informed over the weekend that he just had weeks to live. He had earlier on before this discussed ideas of suicidality with Dr McNamara and his team.
“He had been referred to a palliative care team but not passed these concerns on.”
She continued: “I also note when he had raised suicidality with Dr McNamara’s team, it was not associated with an active plan and there was a protective factor that he did not want to cause extra distress to his wife.
“It was quite clear following this that he had very limited life expectancy plus suffering very debilitating symptoms from his cancer. Mr Mosley’s reached a settled attempt to take his own life.”
Dr Wilcox added: “He suffered devastating injuries that would have killed him instantly. I am entirely satisfied there was no third-party involvement in his death or anything suspicious.
“Mr Mosley had written a note that he placed on his bedroom door that said, ‘don’t enter, call the police’, and was found deceased the next day.”
She concluded: “Mr Mosley performed alone and unaided with the intention of taking his own life and this act caused his death.
“I am entirely satisfied, in fact I am satisfied to the criminal standard, although I only need to be satisfied on the balance of probabilities.
“I am also entirely satisfied Mr Mosley would not have undertaken this action but for the distressing and debilitating and terminal lymphoma.
“I would like to pass my sincere condolences to the family and friends of Mr Mosley and all those who would have been touched by the death of this remarkable man.”
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George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.