Fashion boss who created the Lady Vintage clothing empire killed himself at his £1m home after private testosterone injections he took to give him more energy left him suffering from extreme paranoia

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  • Sergio Andreou, 37, was found hanged in his home in Winchfield, Hampshire 
  • For mental health support contact the Samaritans by calling 116 123

A fashion boss who set up the Lady Vintage clothing empire killed himself in his £1m home after private testosterone injections he took to give him more energy left him suffering from extreme paranoia, an inquest heard.

Sergio Andreou first received the hormone jab after he and his wife Victoria underwent IVF, a coroner was told.

The successful 37-year-old continued taking the injections on a regular basis after the fertility treatment was successful as they ‘made him feel better’.

However, the court heard that as he continued with the injections he grew increasingly suspicious of the people around him. The day before his death he sent wife – from whom he had separated – a text which read ‘I feel like I am being trapped’.

He was later found hanged at his £1m home in the village of Winchfield, in Hampshire.

Sergio Andreou, 37, took his own life after private testosterone injections he took to give him more energy left him suffering from extreme paranoia

Sergio Andreou, 37, took his own life after private testosterone injections he took to give him more energy left him suffering from extreme paranoia

Mr and Ms Andreou created the clothing line Lady Vintage in 2011 and was so successful that they bought 13 properties from the proceeds.

Describing her late husband to Winchester Coroner’s Court, Mrs Andreou said: ‘He was extremely creative and extremely charismatic. He was loved by a lot of people… He was the ideas man and the businessman.’

However, the coroner was told that at the end of 2018 – when he was having the testosterone jabs – Mr Andreou started suffering from paranoia.

His wife told the court: ‘He would read things into situations.

‘I would be in the exact same room with the exact same people and he thought that they had ulterior motives.

‘It would happen at work as well… He would think that people weren’t working hard enough or didn’t have the best interest of the company there.’

Mr Andreou said his testosterone injections were affecting him, telling the court: ‘Something that I don’t feel has been mentioned which I told the police is that he was having some treatment for low testosterone levels.

‘Ever since he started that treatment I noticed things amplified. For me, all the paranoia would just get worse and worse every time.’

Sergio was the founder and director of fashion firm Lady Vintage. Pictured is a notice about his death, posted on the company's Facebook

Sergio was the founder and director of fashion firm Lady Vintage. Pictured is a notice about his death, posted on the company’s Facebook

She said he continued the injections because he thought it made him feel better.

Mrs Andreou added: ‘But, all I noticed was that after he would have it he would not be able to control his emotions.

‘He said it made him more energised and less sluggish. I just saw a change.’

Discussing his fluctuating mental health, she said he would have moments of vulnerability.

She said: ‘All the facade he put out suddenly disappeared and he would say things like, “Am I really horrible to people?”.’

Mr Andrea and his wife separated in the autumn of 2021 and he became paranoid she was trying to get him in trouble with the police.

She said for his birthday, after they had split, she made him a video collage of pictures he didn’t have on his phone.

One of these pictures showed the vintage business owner spraying graffiti onto a railway bridge which made him paranoid.

His wife said: ‘He believed he would go to prison if the photos of him spraying graffiti went to the police.’

In August 2022, Mrs Andreou stopped contact between Mr Andreou and his son. She told the coroner’s court: ‘I didn’t recognise the man that he was anymore.’

Mr Andreou's business was so successful that he and his wife were able to 13 properties together

Mr Andreou’s business was so successful that he and his wife were able to 13 properties together 

Before his death, he sent his wife a text reading: ‘I feel like I am being trapped. I feel like I have done something bad. I don’t know what to do.’

In October 2022, Mr Andreou was found hanged in his home.

Area Coroner Jason Pegg said that while it was possible the jabs had contributed to his suicide, he could not be certain.

‘Four months or so after the birth of [his son], Sergio started having testosterone injections on a regular basis,’ he said.

‘In [his wife’s] view, that coincided with significant changes in Sergio’s mood.

‘It seems to me that Sergio was experiencing problems at the time of his death.

‘There is a possibility [his paranoia] could have been because of his testosterone treatment.

‘But, evidence on that is not what it could be.’

Previous medical research has shown a link between paranoia and testosterone treatments as the steroid has been known to make people suspicious of one another.

The injection works by supplying synthetic testosterone to replace the testosterone that is produced naturally in the body, and among other benefits, can help mood, energy levels, sexual function and muscle strength.

Men with infertility problems should receive testosterone replacement therapy after successful fertility treatment – if they are properly examined beforehand.

Testosterone injections are available at private clinics for as little as £5 a go.

For mental health support contact the Samaritans by calling 116 123 or clicking here. 




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