Former The Only Way is Essex star and businessman Mick Norcross took his own life over fears he faced the “loss of a lifetime’s work”, an inquest has heard.

Mr Norcross rose to fame as the owner of the Sugar Hut nightclub from the hit ITV series.

The 57-year-old first appeared in TOWIE in 2011 during the second series after his son, Kirk, was part of the original cast.

Mick was found by his son who performed CPR while waiting for the ambulance to arrive but sadly he was declared dead at the scene.

Inspector Neil Armstrong, of Essex Police, told an inquest in Chelmsford that officers were called by the ambulance service to Mr Norcross’s “sprawling estate” at around 4pm on January 21.

He had been found dead by his son Kirk Norcross, who smashed a window with a hammer to gain access to the property after he was unable to contact him, the hearing was told.

Mr Armstrong described how Mr Norcross was involved in three property developments that were over schedule.

He had taken out a £3.6 million bank loan, a bridging loan secured against his main residence and there was “at least another million needed to finish at least one of the developments”, Mr Armstrong said.

He said that there were “some significant financial difficulties” and Mr Norcross may have faced “the loss of a lifetime’s work and potentially the family home owing to a bridging loan, and it appeared that was weighing heavily on him”.

Mr Armstrong said there was no third-party involvement in Mr Norcross’s death.

He added: “Kirk reported his father was under pressure for the last three months and in conversations that morning, Michael Norcross had appeared strained.

“The night before with his partner, Michael Norcross had said ‘I don’t think I am going to get through this Sam’.

“He considered his investments in his developments would be lost and there would be no profit at all."

Swanage and Wareham Voice: Mick Norcross’s son Kirk arrives for the 2013 National Television Awards at London’s O2 Arena (Dominic Lipinski/PA)Mick Norcross’s son Kirk arrives for the 2013 National Television Awards at London’s O2 Arena (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

In a statement read by the coroner, Kirk Norcross said: “During the first lockdown in March 2020 I really noticed my dad change.”

He said he began to sleep in in the morning, and “it was almost like he had a black cloud over his head”.

He added: “He would make passing comments, ‘this money is not worth this agg (aggravation), I’m better offing myself’.

“I never took this seriously – I thought he was just joking.”

Mick Norcross’s partner Samantha Keahey said, in a statement read by the coroner, that Mr Norcross sold a Range Rover, an Aston Martin and a van and cashed in his private pension early.

“Mick has always supported his family as long as I’ve known him and the thought of not being able to support his family frightened him,” she said.

The inquest heard that on the day he died Mr Norcross wrote on social media “At the end remind yourself that you did the best you could. And that is good enough.”

Ms Keahey said it was “not unusual for Mick to post messages like that” and she did not believe it referred to his actions later that day.

Lincoln Brookes, Essex’s senior coroner, ruled that Mr Norcross’ cause of death was hanging and concluded that he died by suicide.

She said:  "He was very much a man who was full of life and a man full of love, and he will be very much missed I'm sure."

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