Son of UK’s richest man worth £28bn died in fireball suicide pact with new wife

Sri and Gopi Hinduja have topped the UK's rich list with a staggering £28billion fortune but behind the wealth, the brothers have suffered a heart-wrenching tragedy.

For 30-years-ago Srichand, 86, lost his only son, Dharam, after he took his own life in a failed suicide pact with his secret wife.

The 22-year-old ran away with Roman Catholic Australian, Ninotchka Sargon, who he feared his Hindu family would disapprove of.

At the inquest into Dharam's death, Westminster coroner's officer Michael Bevan said: "Objections to the marriage on the part of his family prevented the couple living together and he decided that if they were going to have a life together, they would need to go and live in another country."

In a break away from tradition, Dharam and Ninotchka tied the knot at Chelsea Register Office before fleeing for a new life in Mauritius on May 14, 1992.

Westminster Coroner's Court heard the mega rich Hinduja family paid for adverts to go in Mauritian newspapers asking for the whereabouts of missing Dharam.

Spooked by the papers, Dharam hatched a tragic plan for him and his new wife.

Ninotchka told police how her distressed husband tied her to their hotel bed before setting fire to himself.

Ninotchka managed to struggle free of her restraints and grabbed a blanket in an attempt to put out the fire.

Emergency services found Dharam alive with 70% burns, but a flight from Mauritius to Queen Mary's Hospital in Roehampton, London was not enough to save him.

After two days of intensive treatment, the 22-year-old died on May 19.

Later that year the coroner, Dr Paul Knapman, recorded a verdict of suicide. Neither of his parents attended the inquest.

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Much of the Hindujas' billionaire wealth is based on property but the family dynasty was founded by Parmanand Hinduja who started trading dried fruit between India and Iran in 1919.

Fruit became movies and movies turned into oil under Parmanand's ever-growing business empire which now involves investments in finance, healthcare, energy and cars.

His four sons, including Dharam's father were dispatched to take the business across the world: Srichand to New York, Gopichand to London, Prakash to Geneva and Ashok to Mumbai.

According to The Sunday Times rich list, Srichand and Gopichand saw their wealth from property-to-industrial conglomerate Londonswell, swell by £11.5bn over the past year, knocking inventor Sir James Dyson off the top spot.

For emotional support, you can call the Samaritans 24-hour helpline on 116 123, email [email protected], visit a Samaritans branch in person or go to the Samaritans website.

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