Monday, September 19, 2011

Escort girls 'left bank chief to hang in mock execution'

by Paul Cheston

A bank chief died in a hanging after paying two escort girls to take part in an "execution role play" to punish him for being a "loser".

Colin Birch, 44, the former assistant vice-president of Deutsche Bank, had ordered the escorts to kick away a step ladder on which he was standing with a noose round his neck tied to a tree.

The married father of two had reassured the women he was wearing a safety harness that would save his life, an inquest heard today.

On his orders, the pair walked away laughing without looking back.

Concerned for his safety, one of the escorts returned and found him turning blue. She and an escort agency driver cut Mr Birch down and tried to resuscitate him but he died at the scene. The inquest, at Gravesend, heard Mr Birch had been made redundant in September 2009 and had not been able to find a new job.

On July 30, the day of his death, he heard that he had not been given a job for which he had a second interview.

Louise Howard, who ran escort agency Katie's Lovely Escorts, told the hearing Mr Birch, who had previously had seven of its girls "attend to him" called and asked for two to meet him on Dartford Heath to perform "an execution".

Ms Howard told the hearing she was "somewhat apprehensive" and had trouble getting the girls to agree but eventually arranged for two escorts, Alex Sturley and Marie Laurent, to attend the scene.

Miss Sturley cried as she told the court she and Ms Laurent had arrived with the driver at about 7pm and they followed Mr Birch into the woods.

When she saw the noose hanging from a tree she asked Mr Birch to see his safety harness and he showed her a clip coming out the back of his jumper.

As Ms Sturley climbed the steps and gave him a kiss on the cheek, Miss Laurent said she could see "tears in his eyes as if he was getting overwhelmed".

Although Miss Sturley said it "didn't feel right" she kicked the ladder away and she "laughed loudly" as she had been ordered as she and Ms Laurent left.

Det Sgt Lee Neiles told the court there were two possible conclusions, that Mr Birch had tried to commit suicide or that he had "manufactured a situation intending that it be a role play scenario and had miscalculated it".

The coroner Roger Hatch, recorded an open verdict, saying: "I am satisfied having heard the evidence that there was nothing to suggest Mr Birch intended to take his own life.

Dammit! Those escort girls get to have ALL the fun!

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