Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Playboy Book Dealer 'Slit His Own Throat'

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Playboy Book Dealer 'Slit His Own Throat'

Article excerpt

Byline: Michael Brown Reporter

A FLAMBOYANT thief jailed for possessing a stolen copy of Shakespeare's first folio slit his own throat in prison, an inquest heard.

Fifty-five-year-old Raymond Scott, who it is believed was hoping to sell the book to fund a life with a Cuban dancer less than half his age, was serving an eightyear sentence in HMP Northumberland when he was found dead in his cell.

Detective constable Sarah Snaith told the inquest at Berwick Magistrates that prison officers had found Scott, from Wingate in County Durham, with severe wounds to his neck and razor blades in his hands.

"At 8.05am on March 14 2012 staff were on duty and they began unlocking the 14 cells on the landing," she said.

"After a minute or so Mr Scott had not appeared, so they entered the cell and saw Mr Scott lying on his back on the bed but could not rouse him.

"They then saw blood on the top of his chest. An alarm was raised and a nurse attended. She checked him for signs of life but no signs of life were evident."

Prior to his conviction Scott passed himself off as a wealthy playboy, but had admitted suicidal thoughts following a failed appeal against his sentence, and a letter was found in his cell saying he had intended to kill himself.

In reality Scott had never had a job and managed to rack up PS90,000 of credit card debt, while living on benefits with his elderly mum Hannah in Washington, near Sunderland.

He was caught with the highly valuable folio when he took the 1623 work to the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington DC, and asked for it to be authenticated.

But police were alerted by library staff as it had been reported stolen from Durham University in 1998.

Scott, would go on to arrive at court appearances in a horse drawn carriage and various expensive cars - he turned up for a bail hearing in a stretch limo, dressed head-to-toe in designer gear, drinking champagne smoking a cigar and carrying a Pot Noodle. …

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