Gordon Ramsay faces backlash from tragic mum over TV drug film
Mother of protégé who plunged to his death 14 years ago lashes out at millionaire chef over TV drug exposé
ledges to another building. He then gained access to the building and went up stairs to another flat.
One man alerted by the noise looked out of the spyhole in his door to see a man in a white T-shirt with blood over his chest and stomach, apparently waving a baseball bat.
The end came when Mr Dempsey – who was wearing a blue T-shirt when he was found – climbed out to the window ledge of a second-floor flat and was apparently trying to jump across to an adjacent ledge.
He misjudged the distance and fell to his death. The post mortem report flagged up an extensive skull injury and recorded cause of death as ‘multiple injuries’. Toxicology confirmed cocaine in his system, though his family say the amount does not explain his wild behaviour nor fit the official narrative.
At the inquest, his family heard Mr Dempsey had been out with a fellow chef most of the day and told him: ‘I did a bit of Charlie earlier.’
Recording a verdict of accidental death, it was claimed the chef was suffering from ‘excited delirium’ – a condition normally seen in regular cocaine users where they can become ill and violent and behave in a highly unpredictable manner.
Mrs Dempsey admits she was left bewildered by an apparent reluctance by some of Mr Dempsey’s coworkers, particularly one who spent most of the day with him, to volunteer information to detectives.
Mrs Dempsey, who last saw her son in Glasgow two weeks before his death, said: ‘So many things don’t add up. For a start, David was petrified of heights. He couldn’t even look out of the window of the second-floor flat I live in. How are we supposed to believe that he climbed up scaffolding?’
She is calling for a judicial review to look at the findings of the official inquest – or for the case to be reopened as a possible murder inquiry on the grounds of new evidence. Mrs Dempsey has followed up new leads, and undertook a part-time course at Glasgow University in forensic medical science to help her question the findings.
She has tracked down a witness who the family believe could explain what happened in the 24 hours up to the chef’s death. It seems, whatever the truth, Mr Dempsey’s love affair with the Ramsay organisation was coming to a close.
Mrs Dempsey said: ‘He told me he was coming to Glasgow. The pressure of working in London had become intolerable. He told me he would be opening up his own restaurant and it would be nothing to do with Gordon Ramsay. ‘It really upsets me the way Ramsay goes on about “David, my good friend”. He hasn’t even been near us. At the funeral I actually had to go up to him in his car to speak to him.’
Mr Dempsey had an elder son named Jack, now 21, who helped with the programme.
Born during his father’s relationship with previous girlfriend Pauline O’Donnell, he is now a trainee chef, whom Ramsay has also taken under his wing.
A spokesman for the TV production said: ‘The documentary has been made with the help and participation of David’s son, Jack, and although the tragic loss of David was part of the inspiration behind making the series it is not the sole focus.’
NEW DIRECTION: Ramsay, pictured with his wife Tana, has worked on a TV programme about cocaine and its effects on the culinary world in particular, which will be shown later this year