A British motor racing chief died after a sadomasochistic sex session with a woman claiming to be 'Europe's most perverted dominatrix', police have said.
Robin Mortimer, 58, was found dead at the villa of the self-styled torturer Mistress Lucrezia in a hamlet in Belgium on Tuesday.
The married father of one had paid £600 to be 'punished' by two leather-clad women in a medieval-style 'dungeon', it was claimed.
He may have choked on a rubber ball or died after taking an anaesthetic designed to prolong sadistic sex sessions, investigators said.
According to police sources, he was found in a shower cubicle, trussed up and wearing a leather 'gimp' mask with a ball on a chain around his neck. But he is understood to have died in another part of the club.
An ambulance had been called after attempts to resuscitate him failed.
He is believed to have visited the venue on more than one occasion, but it is understood his wife of 30 years knew nothing of his penchant for S&M.
Neighbours of their £500,000 gated home in Rugby, Warwickshire, said Bridget Mortimer, 50, has multiple sclerosis. She was too ill to comment, but in a statement the family said Mr Mortimer died of natural causes in his sleep at a hotel in Belgium.
However, the public prosecutor in Antwerp said an initial investigation suggested he did not die of natural causes.
Mistress Lucrezia - in reality, 44-year-old Ira van Damm - and her 'assistant' Mistress Juno, 36, have been arrested on suspicion of assault and battery leading to Mr Mortimer's death, without intent to kill.
Mr Mortimer was a talented motorcycle racer before switching to sports car racing in 1989 and creating the RPM Motorsport team.
His son Alex, 25, a champion racer, still plans to compete in the International GT Open in Belgium this weekend in memory of his father.
It was while travelling to the venue that Robin Mortimer took a detour to the village of Sint-Job-in-'t-Goor near Antwerp, investigators believe.
He visited the villa named ' Torment Towers', where dominatrixes charge £250 an hour - or £4,000 for three days - to inflict 'extreme pain', 'humiliation' and 'torture' on clients using ropes, leather and rubber.
Police who searched the property said they found some of the most extreme S&M equipment they had ever seen, including a vacuum machine for wrapping men's bodies in air-tight cling film.
Mistress Lucrezia, who has been running S&M sessions at the 'dungeon' for five years, says on her website: 'I am very good with CP (corporal punishment) and bondage with ropes, leather, rubber and cling film . . . and I have lots of tools to help me be creative to make each session one you will never forget.
'Beware, I am not a softie. I'm sadistic, intelligent and perverse. In my nature, I'm a sadist of the worst kind.'
She is a regular visitor to Britain, performing at clubs in London and Warwickshire.
The Antwerp prosecutor said Mr Mortimer could have died after being given nitrous oxide, used as an anaesthetic to make sex sessions last longer. The results of a post-mortem examination are expected within days.
Mr Mortimer's death comes after F1 boss Max Mosley was filmed taking part in an S&M session with prostitutes in which they acted out prison fantasies. He was last year awarded £60,000 in damages against the News of the World over what a court decided were false claims that it was a 'sick Nazi orgy'.
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