THE former fiancee of the distillery heir involved in the

''Squidgygate'' row killed herself after her family stopped her

allowance to try to wean her off drugs, a coroner's court heard


Lady Alethea Savile, 31, a freelance journalist, was once engaged to

Mr James Gilbey, but their relationship foundered in 1992 at about the

time he was involved in the controversy over recordings of telephone

conversations with the Princess of Wales.

Forensic scientists told the court Lady Alethea's blood contained a

mixture of heroin, cocaine, and an overdose of a drug she took for


The latter alone might have been enough to kill her, Dr Richard

Shephard of Guy's Hospital said, or the heroin if it had been her first

dose for some time.

She had struggled for years with depression and drug abuse, the

Westminster coroner, Dr Paul Knapman, heard.

Her brother, Lord Pollington said he had found her after she took a

sleeping pill overdose in March this year. ''Over the last year she had

said on many different occasions that she intended to kill herself,'' he


On the evening of Friday, September 16, he dined with a friend, Mr

Graham Scott Dalglish, and they went to check on his sister at her flat

in Walpole Street, Chelsea.

Lord Pollington told the court that in the car he had a premonition of

his sister's death: ''I said, 'She's dead, I know it'.''

He forced an entry to the darkened flat where the electricity had been

cut off, and found her body in the bedroom. She had obviously been dead

some time, he said.

He said he then rushed to confront her drug-taking friends.

He said they drove to Barnes, where he ''got involved in a scuffle

down there''.

Dr Knapman asked: ''With people in Barnes who might have been

connected with drugs?''

Lord Pollington said: ''That was my belief, but I obviously can't


Her father, Lord Mexborough, and step-mother had decided in May to cut

off her allowance to stop her buying drugs, the court heard.

A note from her parents just that week, begging her to get in touch,

was found in the flat after her death.

Dr Knapman said: ''It's not my duty to stray very far into her

personal life and relationships. One can imagine the discomfort of Lord

and Lady Mexborough having stopped her allowance.''

He ruled that the cause of death was a combined drug overdose, and

that she took her own life while the balance of her mind was disturbed.