An inquest into the tragic death of James Scott-Lee, the much-respected Chairman of estate agency group Chancellors, has heard how the 66-year-old was killed by his own horses within the stables of his estate in the village of Kirtlington, Oxfordshire on October 27th last year.
James, who had headed up Chancellors Group since the 1990s and was a very keen horse and carriage enthusiast, had been out for a seven-mile drive with his driver and a friend and, after returning to his stables, had helped unhook the horses from the vehicle.
The inquest was told that one of the horses lunged forward, knocking him over and, when the second horse also became agitated, the carriage was subsequently ridden over him.
James remained conscious and initially complained only of pains in his shoulder and tingling in his hands but after being taken by ambulance to the John Radcliffe Hospital outside Oxford, scans revealed multiple fractures to his ribs and he was kept in for observation.
His condition deteriorated and it was later discovered that he had suffered a broken vertebrae and a stroke.
James was then rushed to a specialist unit at St George’s Hospital in South London where his family were told that he had suffered extensive brain damage. He died the next day. Coroner Darren Salter recorded a conclusion of accidental death.
James steered Chancellors through a period of significant expansion and at the time of his death was a director of three other estate agents controlled by Chancellors including Anscombe and Ringland, Bonsor Pennington and Russell as well as Baldwin & Bright.
He was also an active member of the RICS and during the late noughties was interviewed by its website alongside Sarah Beeny about the spread of online agents. His son, Robert Scott-Lee, is Managing Director of Chancellors Group.