Member of Lloyd's found dead in car

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ADMIRAL Sir Richard Fitch, a former Second Sea Lord and an underwriting member of the Lloyd's insurance market, has been found dead at his home.

His body was discovered in his Volvo car at his home at Middleton-on-Sea in West Sussex on Tuesday afternoon. Sussex Police said yesterday that there were no suspicious circumstances. An inquest is to be held in the next few weeks.

Colin Sharman, the admiral's brother-in-law, said last night: 'He is a victim of Lloyd's again. He has not been well with the worry of it.'

Sir Richard, 64, was one of thousands of members of Lloyd's hit by record-breaking losses of pounds 5.5bn over the past three years. He was a member of one of the worst-hit syndicates, 290, under the management of the Gooda Walker agency. His personal loss is believed to be about pounds 200,000. About 3,000 members of all Gooda Walker insurance syndicates have suffered losses of pounds 835m. They recently rejected an offer of more than pounds 234m from Lloyd's to compensate them and decided to press for better compensation terms in the law courts. Sir Richard, who joined Lloyd's in 1971, was one of many members suing hundreds of companies over the circumstances surrounding the losses.

Although Sir Richard ceased underwriting last year at Lloyd's, he was still liable to meet any losses, which have been steadily rising. His widow, Lady Fitch, was too upset to comment last night.

Sir Richard was a veteran of the Korean War and a former captain of the aircraft carrier Hermes. He was a former director of naval warfare and a former naval secretary in charge of the appointment and promotion of officers in the Falklands conflict.

Peter Lucas, a former navy captain, an ex-colleague and neighbour of Sir Richard, said: 'I have known Dickie since I went to sea when I was 13 years old. He was a great guy.'

Last year, coroners' courts concluded that two Lloyd's underwriting members, Richard Burgoyne and Roy Bromley, took their lives because of the uncertainties surrounding the losses at Lloyd's.