Stockbroker Anjool Malde died amid prank-message investigation

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The Independent Online

An accomplished young broker who jumped to his death from the top of one London’s most exclusive restaurants clutching a glass of champagne was under investigation for posting prank messages on a financial website, his inquest heard today.

Anjool Malde described himself as “living the dream”. The Oxford graduate, a broker at Deutsche Bank and co-founder of events company AlphaParties, was well known on the social scene. At the age of 24, he had just bought a holiday penthouse in Spain.

Bharat Malde described his only child as a “very lively, talented, very bright, a social animal”. Just days after his death he had been planning to celebrate his birthday at a champagne and canapés party in Soho.

Yet on Sunday 5 July last year he walked into the City’s Coq d'Argent, ordered a drink and then headed over to the roof terrace. CCTV footage showed him climb a glass barrier and jump downwards, his arms flung back.

Despite Mr Malde’s parents’ insistence that it was completely out of character, City of London Coroner Paul Matthews said the images left him in no doubt and ruled that Mr Malde committed suicide.

“We shall never know why at that precise moment he decided to do it,” he said. “This young man had everything to live for, talent, liked by everybody, worked hard for his friends, and came to an untimely end in July last year.”

He continued: “He was a high achiever who set very high targets for himself and it’s possible that faced with this accusation, even if it was untrue, that may cause him to lose his job or suffer some ignominy, he might think it was a terrible thing to suffer.”

After the verdict Mr Malde’s father said: “It is completely out of character for Anjool to take his own life. If the only evidence is something that’s captured on film, it doesn’t read his mind. We are at a complete loss.”

The court heard that he been sent home from work at Deutsche Bank early the previous Friday afternoon after managers suspended his Bloomberg account and confiscated his personal computer.

A client company of Deutsche Bank had complained after a post appeared on a financial careers website purporting to be from one of their employees, which read: “I’m hot, I’m hot.” The IP address had been traced to Mr Malde’s computer and he was asked to attend a meeting with Deutsche Bank director Keith Leno, fraud and security manager Daniel Earp and head of European sales Jonathan Potter.

He denied any involvement and insisted he was also innocent of sending an email – in the name of Raj Rocks – to the client company employee in which he said he was “suicidal” over the incident. He had been targeted by other people who were jealous of his success, he claimed.

Giving evidence, Mr Earp explained: “He said that he had a Gmail account but those emails were not from him and neither did he identify with the sentiment in the content of the emails, in particular about feeling suicidal. At one point he stated categorically: ‘I’m not suicidal’.”

The inquest heard the client company employee later received another email from Raj Rocks, offering £500 to charity “to make the matter go away”.

Asked whether he believed Mr Malde had made the original posting, Mr Earp said: “All the evidence we were able to pull together indicates that that was the most likely explanation.”

The coroner heard that Mr Malde did not take drugs, drank only socially and had no known history of depression or mental illness. In his last conversation with his family on the Friday nothing appeared amiss.

Friend David Langer explained that they had attended a party together on the Saturday night and he had stayed with Mr Malde. He conceded his friend had been “a little subdued” but that was not too unusual.

Friend Irra Khirivskaya said: “They are the actions of someone who had temporarily lost his wits. I can only imagine it as a short episode of insanity.

“The efficiency of the actions, their style and precision, was all very typical of Anjool.

“The impulse on which he acted to end his own life is so out of character that it has baffled my mind ever since.”