Maida Vale diplomat may have “changed his mind” before suicide

A Maida Vale diplomat may have decided to abort a suicide bid shortly before he fell from the roof of the Egyptian embassy in Mayfair, an inquest heard.

Ayman Mohammed Fayed, 41, of Lanark Road, had “no reason” to kill himself according to colleagues, but was found on the pavement outside the embassy on January 14.

He left a suicide note telling his wife to “look after the children” before he climbed out of the window of his third floor office on South Street.

But witnesses told Westminster Coroner’s Court they saw the father-of-three desperately trying to pull himself back inside the building shortly before falling into the street below.

Kamala Badawi, who worked in another embassy building on the opposite side of the road, said she first assumed Mr Fayed was trying to break into the building.

“He was trying to push his top half through the window and lift himself to get in,” she said. Ms Badawi then told the court she went to alert embassy bosses before hearing a “loud bang”.

“I went to the window and the man was no longer there,” she added. “My feeling was he had lost control and fell.”

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Det Insp Andrew Fleming said the evidence suggested Mr Fayed had changed his mind about taking his own life.

“There is an issue as to whether he jumped or fell,” he said. “I suspect it was a straightforward suicide to begin with. However, sitting on top of the roof in the wet, feeling cold, looking down at the concrete below, I suspect he has changed his mind.

“That would fit in with what the witness said. He’s leaning down and trying to reach back into the window.

“I suspect it’s gone from an intention to commit suicide to a tragic accident.”

Mr Fayed, a financial administrator, was pronounced dead at 4.10pm after sustaining multiple fractures and massive brain damage.

Recording an open verdict, coroner Fiona Wilcox said: “There is simply no evidence as to whether he jumped or fell.

“I am therefore unable to be satisfied that this death arose because of an accident. Similarly, the only witness saw a man attempting to re-enter the building and there’s also no evidence to suggest that he deliberately jumped.”