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

The Scottish Mail on Sunday - - Front Page -

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

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