Doncaster friend of Jimmy Savile killed himself after revelations about TV star

Ray Nortrop
Ray Nortrop

A well-known community campaigner took an overdose in his Doncaster flat within months of shocking revelations about his friend, Jimmy Savile.

The body of Ray Nortrop lay undiscovered for up to a fortnight after he took an overdose last December.

A Doncaster inquest heard police were not investigating Mr Nortrop as part of the Jimmy Savile child sex abuse inquiry but a national newspaper made enquiries about him after his death.

Mr Nortrop, aged 68, had no previous mental health issues and did not talk to anyone about taking his life in the weeks leading to his death at his flat in Askrigg Close, Cantley.

The inquest heard an attempted reconciliation with his estranged daughter, Fleur Doyle, turned sour and he took legal action against her to gain access to his 10-year-old grandson.

Neighbours used a spare key to enter his flat on December 22 and found Mr Nortrop lying on the bedroom floor.

A post-mortem examination showed codeine and paracetamol in his system and his death was consistent with a fatal overdose.

Pc Christopher Akers told the inquest he was aware a national newspaper had been making enquiries about Mr Nortrop after he died, into ‘criminal matters of a very serious nature going back a number of years, which the press has reported’.

Pc Akers said: “There was nothing to substantiate that in the flat or to implicate any criminality.”

Another officer said he’d not been the subject of any South Yorkshire Police enquiry.

In a statement Mrs Doyle said her father was ‘like a stranger’ to her.

In 2011 she attempted a reconciliation so he could see his grandson, but she said when they met ‘he appeared very cold-hearted and the relationship felt strained, so I decided not to meet him again’.

Last year she received a letter from him saying if he was not allowed access to the boy he would take legal action.

After a court hearing he was given permission to write to the child on his birthday and at Christmas.

She added: “Ray was very distant with me and I did not want anything to do with him.”

Police found handwritten letters – one for the emergency services telling them not to rescusitate him, one to his daughter expressing his love for her and ‘wishing things might have been different’, and a farewell note to a neighbour.

Coroner Nicola Mundy, recorded a verdict Mr Nortrop took his own life. She said the motivation remained unclear, adding: “There has been reference to speculation, but that is not evidence. I believe his intention to die was clear.”

After Savile’s death Mr Nortrop recalled his time working as a disc jockey and appearing with the broadcaster in the 1960s. He also attended his funeral in Leeds and burial in Scarborough.