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Thursday, 23 October 2014

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Russian buyer of Lake District country house shot dead

A Russian millionaire who bought one of the Lake District’s most distinctive country houses has been shot dead, according to media reports from Moscow.

Alexander Mineev hit the headlines locally after he handed over Underscar Manor near Keswick to his wife following their divorce.

The Russia News service has reported that the businessman was assassinated on January 22 – shot 27 times through the window of his car.

The murder was said to have happened the Queens area of Moscow. The driver of his car was uninjured.

Mr Mineev bought Underscar Manor in 2009, but since late last year the property has been empty and monitored by tight security.

The house, at Applethwaite, near Keswick, which only five years ago was visited by the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh, had its locks changed and its two gated entrances padlocked after the breakdown of Mr Mineev’s marriage to his wife Irina.

For 19 years, until November 2009, Underscar Manor was run as a hotel by its then owners Derek and Pauline Harrison and Gordon Evans.

With spectacular views from the lower slopes of Skiddaw, and impressive gardens, the property was popular with celebrities, including the television presenter Jonathan Dimbleby and the Queen’s photographer John Swanell.

After he bought it, Mr Mineev paid to have a number of impressive ornamental pagodas erected. Two life-sized stone statues of stags were also placed at the manor’s entrance.

Mr Mineev was the founder of the office and household appliance supplier Partya, which was among the first to advertise on Russian TV.

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