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Tuesday, January 24, 2017
Tycoon’s internet bride ‘set up his hit-and-run murder’, inquest hears
Barry Pring, 47, died in 2008 after celebrating his first wedding anniversary with Ukrainian wife Ganna Ziuzina, 28.
The businessman was hit by a stolen car in Kiev, Ukraine, while waiting for a taxi near a restaurant.
Mr Pring married the former stripper after they met on a dating website, but his family claim she was “only interested in his money” and had “some involvement” in his death.
An inquest at Devon County Hall recorded a verdict of unlawful killing.
Coroner Dr Elizabeth Earland said: “His guard was lowered by inebriation. The car had stolen licence plates and did not brake or stop.
“I am satisfied beyond reasonable doubt that Barry Pring has been unlawfully killed.”
The hearing was told “strenuous” attempts had been made to get Ms Ziuzina to attend the inquest, but she had refused saying she could not add anything to police statements she gave in Ukraine.
Mr Pring's family believe his Ukrainian bride had something to do with his death
Ukrainian police had upgraded their inquiry to a murder hunt in 2011. Detective Constable Jonathan Watts told the inquest the vehicle that hit Mr Pring was travelling at high speed with no lights.
Stolen number plates found at the scene came from a car parked near where Ms Ziuzina had lived in Kiev in 2007, “giving rise to the assumption that the act was pre-planned”, he said.
He added: “Witnesses describe a car travelling at 75mph. There was no evidence of braking or slowing before the car left the scene.
“Witnesses recorded their impression that it was deliberate.” Family and friends of Mr Pring were suspicious about Ms Ziuzina.
Peter Clifford, who was best man at the couple’s Kiev wedding, told the inquest Mr Pring was “totally under her influence”.
He said: “There is no reasonable doubt in my mind that Barry was murdered, nor is there any reasonable doubt in my mind that Ganna Ziuzina either arranged for, or was complicit in, his murder.”
Mr Pring’s brother Shaughan said he believed the woman was “only interested in his money and saw their relationship as an opportunity to better her position financially”.
His mother, Irene, said: “I was quite surprised to see how cold she was towards Barry.
“We are sure that Ganna had some involvement in Barry’s death in order to inherit money or property.”
The couple met on an online dating website
The family became suspicious about what happened and spent £100,000 hiring a private investigator in Ukraine in a bid to uncover the truth.
A freelance journalist, Graham Phillips, has said he interviewed a stripper friend of Ms Ziuzina’s, known as Tatiana, who allegedly described her pal as a “gold digger”.
The inquest heard Mr Pring, originally from East Devon, set up his own consultancy business aged 30 after moving to London.
The businessman is said to have owned five properties, including three in London, and bought an apartment in Kiev.
He allegedly sent his wife £40,000 to furnish it. Mrs Pring said in a statement she did not find out until later that the couple had met on a dating website.
She said her son frequently flew to Kiev and started supporting Ms Ziuzina financially. In January 2007, he announced that they were getting married.
Mrs Pring said: “No one from our family was invited. “Barry returned to live in London. Ganna stayed in Kiev, moving to the apartment that Barry had bought.
“We all expected her to get her visa straight away.” Ms Ziuzina did not get a visa until August that year and still chose not to live in the UK.
Instead, she visited for two weeks with her mother, before travelling to Devon with Mr Pring to meet his parents for the first time.
Mrs Pring said she heard about her son’s death after Ms Ziuzina phoned Shaughan with the news.
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