Self-styled Suffolk ‘Lord’ David West found dead at his London home


Hollesley. - Credit: Archant

A flamboyant nightclub owner who is understood to have held the title of Lord of the Manor of Hollesley has been found dead at his London home.

The body of multimillionaire David West, 70, was found at a property in Ormond Yard behind Jermyn Street, near Piccadilly, Mayfair, on Friday night.

A post-mortem examination gave the cause of death as a single stab wound.

His son, also called David West, has been charged with murder. The 44-year-old, of Jermyn Street, will appear at Westminster Magistrates’ Court tomorrow.

Mr West senior is understood to have bought the title of Lord of the Manor of Hollesley after it went up for sale on eBay in 2006.

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Reports at the time said he did not want the title – which had once been held by Robert Devereux, who some historians believe may have been Queen Elizabeth I’s lover – going abroad to an overseas buyer.

The title was listed on Ebay for a starting price of £45,000 and was attracting interest from all over the world when Mr West is understood to have entered into a private arrangement to buy with the owners.

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The Lordship of the Manor of Hollesley title has existed since the 1500s and gives the holder the rights to appoint a Lady of the Manor of Hollesley, an official steward to act as his right hand man, gamekeeper, domestic servants, and to host a traditional annual feast to which all villagers living within the manor’s boundaries should be invited.

The title can be passed on to his heirs in perpetuity and also gives shooting rights over 150 acres in Hollesley.

This evening, Hollesley Parish Council chairman Dennis Driver said to his knowledge Mr West had not visited the village.

He said: “I have never seen him, never met and he never contacted me.”

Mr West reportedly owned the nightclub Hey Jo, as well as Abracadabra, a restaurant which specialises in Russian cuisine. Both are located close to his home.

He has been described as a flamboyant figure and is said to He made his fortune selling alcohol from a Calais warehouse called Eastenders, having started in business selling flowers and groceries from a stall in Romford market.

In 2007 he made headlines after he hired Cherie Blair to mount a legal challenge against the smoking ban – which had been brought in by her husband Tony Blair, then Prime Minister.

On what appears to be the dead man’s LinkedIn page he describes himself as a “successful business entrepreneur”.

Friends paid tribute on Facebook.

Mickey Helliet said he was “absolutely gutted” at the death of his “longstanding friend”.

He said: “Life is precious and can be snatched away at any moment. I normally go to see Dave and have a couple of drinks with him in one of his clubs at Christmas.

“I loved going to his clubs. Really going to miss him, a real character. RIP.”

Jelena Gauthier said she was “in utter disbelief”.

She wrote: “RIP David West you were always such a gracious host, flamboyant man and a playful soul you will be missed by many.”

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