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EXCLUSIVE

DEATH PROBE 

Russian tycoon Mikhail Watford found hanged in one of Britain’s most prestigious estates days after Ukraine invasion

  • 21:00, 2 Mar 2022
  • Updated: 14:24, 3 Mar 2022

A RUSSIAN tycoon has been found hanged in his garage at home on one of Britain’s most exclusive estates.

The body of Mikhail Watford was found by a gardener on the Wentworth Estate in Virginia Water, Surrey, on Monday.

Police are probing the death of Mikhail Watford, pictured with his wife Jane, with the 'utmost seriousness' amid fears he could have been on a hit list
Police are probing the death of Mikhail Watford, pictured with his wife Jane, with the ‘utmost seriousness’ amid fears he could have been on a hit listCredit: Facebook
The exclusive Wentworth Estate where the tycoon was found dead
The exclusive Wentworth Estate where the tycoon was found deadCredit: commons.wikimedia.org / Rodolph at English Wikipedia
A family friend said: 'His state of mind might have been affected by the situation in the Ukraine'
A family friend said: ‘His state of mind might have been affected by the situation in the Ukraine’Credit: Linkedin

The father of three, 66, made his fortune from oil refineries in Ukraine then set up a property firm after moving to Britain.

Police are probing the death with the “utmost seriousness” amid fears he could have been on a hit list. Moscow has been linked to a number of exile deaths in Britain.

A family friend said: “His state of mind might have been affected by the situation in the Ukraine,

“The timing of his death and the invasion of Ukraine was surely not coincidental.”

Another associate said: “His death raises questions. After all the other suspicious deaths of Russian nationals and associates in the UK, it is only natural there will be speculation about his death.” Mr Watford changed his name from Tolstosheya after moving here in the 2000s.

He lived with Estonian wife Jane, their two children and an older son from his first marriage, in an £18million mansion on the Wentworth Estate.

The couple appeared in a Sunday Times property article when they were selling their house in 2015, in which they boasted of their opulent lifestyle of private jets and country mansions.

He later moved to Dormy House, a period villa divided into apartments. His Russian mother lived next door in one of them and was at home when her son’s body was found.

A source said: “It is truly shocking as Mikhail had everything to live for.

“He had a beautiful wife, children and dream home. It makes no sense at all.”

After Mr Watford’s death Jane shared a picture of her kissing him, while holding a cigar, on Facebook.

Yesterday Surrey Police said: “An investigation into the circumstances of the death is under way but it is not believed there are any suspicious circumstances at this time.”

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