French businessman's drug-fuelled death 'suspicious': Sydney inquest

4th August 2015, Comments 0 comments

A French millionaire businessman died in "suspicious circumstances" from consuming multiple drugs, with the events leading up to his demise "salacious and fraught with drama and intrigue", a Sydney inquest found Tuesday.

David Luc Monlun's body was found on May 30, 2011, at an apartment near central Sydney, with investigators stating he had died from mixed drug toxicity caused by gamma-hydroxybutyric acid (GHB), otherwise known as liquid ecstasy, and methamphetamine.

But after a lengthy inquest into the 40-year-old's death, New South Wales deputy state coroner Sharon Freund found it was not clear why Monlun died except that there was "no credible evidence" he was suicidal, and referred the case to the police's unsolved homicide squad.

The Frenchman -- reported in local media as a millionaire -- may have died from an accidental overdose, or another person or persons could have "administered some or all of the drugs to Mr Monlun thereby causing his death", Freund wrote in the inquest's report.

She added that Monlun's girlfriend Sarah Manning, with whom he had a "volatile and intermittent" relationship since around 2000, and her friend Jamie Philp "remain persons of interest in relation to his death".

The pair were the last people to see Monlun, who was born in Bordeaux and moved to Sydney in 1996 after working in the Pacific region for several years, alive.

"Unfortunately, the events leading up to Mr Monlun's death can only be described as salacious and fraught with drama and intrigue," Freund wrote in her findings.

"The persons of interest all have interwoven lives fuelled by deception, sex and illicit drugs. All have reasons to lie to protect each other and themselves."

Freund added that GHB, meth and cocaine were Monlun's "drugs of choice" and his relationship with Manning was "reportedly highly sexual".

Manning's former partner Matthew Haar kidnapped Moulun twice in 2006, the second time with Manning and another woman. The trio were convicted for several offences.

Freund said in the hours before Monlun was found dead, Manning and Philp were captured on CCTV footage leaving his unit. Monlun could also be seen in the footage as he saw the pair to his front door.

"In the next few minutes Mr Monlun can be seen to deteriorate," the finding said.

"He is unsteady on his feet and drops a phone, before moving beyond the scope of the camera in the direction of his bedroom."

Days before his death on May 27, Manning posed "with a very large amount of cash" in a photograph found on Moulun's mobile phone.

Freund said Manning only provided police with a statement on Moulun's death in March this year and described her evidence as "inconsistent with other evidence obtained during the course of the inquest and accordingly I do not find her to be a witness of truth".

© 2015 AFP

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