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Widow demands answers after 33-year-old’s unexplained death

Ramsay Urquhart and his wife Pan Ei Phyu on their wedding day in Myanmar
Ramsay Urquhart and his wife Pan Ei Phyu on their wedding day in Myanmar

A widow whose husband’s death 16 months ago remains unexplained has told how she still does not know why he died.

Ramsay Urquhart, 33, was discovered in his flat in London wrapped tightly in a duvet a fortnight after moving to the city.

He was diabetic but had lost blood and his laptop was missing, according to his family, who believe he may have been attacked.

His widow, Pan Ei Phyu, 30, originally from Myanmar, who met Ramsay while they were both teaching English in China in 2014, said: “It’s more than a year since Ramsay died and I still do not know what happened.

“He was only in London two weeks when he passed away. We’d speak on the phone every day and then, when I tried to call and message, there was no response. When it went a couple of days, I got in touch with my father-in-law and he called police.

“I have a lot of questions. Ramsay sent me a picture in his room with the laptop. We told police about this and it is still missing.

“He also told me about the time he was in London, someone was calling him a lot and he reported this to the police.

“I just don’t know what happened and would like answers. If someone murdered him, I want to see justice for him.”

The cause of death remains “unascertained” after a post-mortem examination following the death of Ramsay, from Moray.

His family made a formal complaint about the police’s handling of the case after officers in London did not check on him for 10 hours after relatives raised the alarm.

They also complained about how officers dealt with malicious phone calls made to Ramsay in the weeks before his death and how they dealt with his relatives.

Investigations by the Met and the Independent Office for Police Complaints have now ruled out misconduct but recommended “opportunities for individual learning”. It emerged after his death that Ramsay had contacted police after receiving 31 malicious phone calls from a withheld number in the week before he died. They have since been traced to a 17-year-old in Devon, who was apparently unknown to Ramsay.

But his family say they still have unanswered questions – and are still awaiting a date for an inquest which they hope will provide answers. Ramsay, from Keith, met Pan in 2014 and they married in her home country in February 2018. They returned to the UK and stayed in Keith for six months before Ramsay moved to London to find work to save money for them to settle in the UK.

On April 17 last year, two weeks after Ramsay moved to London, his father Murdo called Police Scotland about 2pm to say he had not heard from his son, who was diabetic, for four days, and was ­concerned for his welfare.

Met officers were ­contacted within about an hour but did not get to his flat in Clements Road, in East Ham, until shortly after midnight.

One of the police ­ officers who went to the flat said in his statement: “The bedroom was in darkness so I turned the light on. I noticed that there was a person laying under a white duvet cover, face down, with the duvet wrapped tight around them.

“On the bed and duvet I noticed that there was quite a large amount of blood. As I got closer to the body I ­realised there was a male under the duvet cover. Due to my experience as a police officer I could clearly tell that the male was deceased.”

The constable said he noticed several blisters on Ramsay’s arms and body which, he believed, accounted for the blood.

Police searched the room and found nothing of “high value”. Ramsay’s new silver laptop has never been located. A police report states the officers assessed the death as “unexplained but not suspicious”.

On April 26, a post-­mortem gave the cause of death as “unascertained”. A pathologist thought the death was “most likely related to the deceased’s underlying diabetes, which can increase the risk of sudden death” but toxicology reports showed no drugs and negligible alcohol in Ramsay’s system.

Dad Murdo, 66, of Keith, said: “We are very concerned about many aspects of what happened and, when I add the factors together, I believe Ramsay was the victim of an attack. The blood could not have got there after he died and, if he had been having a diabetic fit, he would have been thrashing about and would not have been tightly wrapped in a duvet.

“The anonymous phone calls show Ramsay was scared to the point he called police.

“We have major concerns over the way his death was handled. After all this time, we are still waiting for an inquest and a cause of death. Had the Met acted quicker, we believe Ramsay’s death might have been prevented.”

The Urquhart ­family’s MP, Douglas Ross, who represents Moray at Westminster, said: “There remain many elements of this case which merit further investigation.

“I remain open-minded over what happened and I can understand how Ramsay’s family have concerns over several issues when you add them up. I’ve been in contact with the family for over a year now and will continue to contact the authorities on their behalf seeking information and answers.”

Waltham Forest Coroner’s Court said: “There is currently no date for an inquest and accordingly there has been no conclusion on cause of death. The current medical cause of death, following post-mortem and toxicology, remains ‘unascertained’.”