The ex-husband of a former TV soap actress, who was jailed after terrorizing her at their country estate, died in a hotel fire just weeks after his release, an inquest has found.
Tony Lane-Roberts’ marriage to Cindy Marshall-Day, who starred in the final two seasons of Crossroads following its 2001 revival, fell apart after he failed to end years of drinking problems.
In January 2018, the 66-year-old pointed an airgun at Ms Marshall-Day at Walcott Hall, near Scunthorpe, where they had lived in separate wings for four years after divorcing.
He pleaded guilty to possessing a firearm to stoke fears of violence after the court heard him brandishing the gun following a dispute over shared keys and bathrooms.
Lane-Roberts was sentenced to an eight-month suspended sentence that included non-harassment and restraining orders, but soon began posting on social media pillorying his ex-wife for “kicking him out of the house.” had, and vowed to ‘get them expelled’.
He was sentenced to 32 weeks in prison in September 2018 for violating the orders and was reportedly released in March of the following year.
About this time Mrs. Marshall-Day had agreed to pay his bills and give him a sum of money
Firefighters were called to Scunthorpe’s Clamart Hotel on April 24 after managers noticed smoke rising from a room where Lane-Roberts was staying.
He was carried outside, where CPR was attempted for 20 minutes, but he was pronounced dead at the scene, sparking an inquest.
The hearing at Grimsby Town Hall was told that a cigarette butt was thrown into a plastic bin followed by an empty wine bottle causing the bin to tip over.
As a result, a fire broke out that quickly spread, leaving the hotel room “glowing like a campfire.”
Autopsy tests showed Lane-Roberts’ blood alcohol level was four times the alcohol limit for drinking and that he was alive when the fire broke out and died as a result.
Coroner Paul Smith concluded that the 66-year-old “passed out” in a “drunken daze” and “found no evidence the fire was set intentionally.”
However, he noted that a delay of 11 minutes between the hotel’s fire alarm being activated and the moment emergency services were contacted could have been “critical”.
Hotel manager Tariq Maxx told the inquest: “I was in my room and the fire alarm went off. Guests left the building. I turned off the alarm believing it was a false alarm – I did this four times.
“I went upstairs to see if it was a real fire and still thought it was a false alarm. The corridor filled with smoke and I called 999.”
Mr Maxx added he had warned his guest on several occasions not to smoke in his room and placed a rolled-up towel under the door to mask the smell.
Ms Marshall-Day told the inquest: “I don’t think he had any intention of harming himself. Unfortunately, he was always drunk throughout our marriage.
“Most days he sat in his room and drank. I realized it wasn’t a choice, it was a disease.”
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https://metro.co.uk/2022/05/09/man-who-terrorised-soap-star-ex-died-in-fire-after-release-from-jail-16610751/ A man who terrorized the soap star's ex died in a fire after he was released from prison