Heir to candy bar fortune dies of apparent suicide

BIRMINGHAM, England -- Chocolate heir Jocelyn Cadbury was young, rich, successful in politics, had many girlfriends and 'was in splendid form' a few days ago. Saturday he put a shotgun to his head and pulled the trigger.

Police refused to call the death a suicide Sunday pending an inquest next week. But they said the Conservative member of Parliament was killed by an aimed shot from the shotgun found beside his body, there were 'no suspicious circumstances' and 'we are not looking for anyone else.'


Cadbury's body was found by a gardener on the main driveway through the extensive grounds of Davids, the family estate, where he lived with his parents. He had returned to the estate outside Birmingham Friday when Parliament began its summer recess.

His friends and political associates were baffled by his death. Cadbury, 36, seemed to have everything.

He was a member of one of Britain's wealthiest families. His father was chairman of Cadbury Brothers, makers of the nation's top-selling candy bars and chocolates. His brother is currently chairman of the new combine Cadbury-Schweppes, which incorporates the famous soft drink firm.

Cadbury, a bachelor, had 'numerous girl friends,' said Margaret Scrimshaw, a close friend and secretary of the local branch of his Conservative party.


Friends said he had been cheerful and in good spirits. Fellow member of Parliament Michael Grulls, who attended a party Cadbury gave 10 days ago, said 'he was in splendid form and a magnificent host.'

Other associates discounted one friend's suggestion that he might have been worried about losing his parliamentary seat. He won the seat by only 204 votes in 1979.

But that margin overturned a 10,000 majority by the Labor party politician he beat. Eight months ago Cadbury was named a parliamentary private secretary to the minister of state for industry, and he was considered a rising figure in the Conservative Party even though he was critical of Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher's monetarist policy.

'He took his parliamentary duties very seriously,' said member of Parliament David Bevan, a close friend. 'He worked extremely hard.'

Cadbury had Cambridge University degrees in ecomomics and anthropology. He worked in the family business before turning to politics. He lost an election in 1974, but overturned that result in 1979 in a major upset.

He is the third member of the chocolate-making family to die violently. His brother died in a motorcycle accident and his sister in an air crash.

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