The abusive former husband of a TV soap actress has died in a mysterious fire – weeks after being freed from prison.
Tony Lane-Roberts, 66, who was killed by the blaze in his hotel room, had been married to glamorous Crossroads star Cindy Marshall-Day.
Cindy, 52, had told how she was “petrified” when Tony shoved a gun in her face during a row at their home.
He was jailed for 32 weeks in September last year after breaking court orders to leave her alone.
Tony had been living at the hotel in Scunthorpe, Lincs, after his release from prison.
Detectives investigating say they have no explanation for the fire yet.
Cindy said yesterday: “I’m very distressed and upset about it all.”
She played Tracey Booth in the revived version of Crossroads, on ITV between 2001 and 2003.
The actress, formerly a hostess on The Price is Right quiz show, met Tony in the late 1990s in Los Angeles.
She was there pursuing a career in Hollywood following minor film roles.
They were married within nine months of starting to date and the wedding was featured in OK! magazine.
The couple bought the £1million country pile Walcot Hall in Lincolnshire in 2004.
And they poured money into it to turn the grand house into a successful wedding venue.
It once featured on E4 series Don’t Tell the Bride.
Cindy enjoyed a lavish lifestyle with the county’s equestrian set, established a business selling horse treats and gained a degree in floristry design.
On the outside, the couple appeared to have the perfect life.
But their relationship started to deteriorate and they divorced five years ago.
Despite splitting, both continued to live in the Grade II listed Georgian house they had lovingly restored, keeping apart in different wings.
But in January 2018 an argument over a shared bathroom got out of hand.
Tony, who had downed a bottle of wine and two cans of cider, pointed an air rifle at Cindy.
Grimsby crown court heard how the incident “scared the living daylights” out of the actress.
The court was also told Tony was still “irate” when the police arrived and that he then threatened to kill Cindy.
He was given an eight-month suspended prison sentence and 25 days’ rehabilitation.
He was also ordered to leave Cindy alone but failed to do so.
Tony flouted a restraining order and four non-molestation orders by posting nasty messages on social media about her.
One accused her of being a “cuckoo kicking him out of the house” and another said: “I just have to put her in a box so I can put it behind me.”
Last September he was jailed for 32 weeks after Recorder Peter Makepeace QC told him Cindy would always fear him, adding: “You are a man of controlling behaviour and bullying behaviour.”
Tony is thought to have booked in at the self-catering Hotel Clamart after being freed.
An employee at the hotel has told how he tried to rescue Tony from the fire.
The man, who asked not to be named, said: “When I got to the room, it was completely filled with smoke.
"I rang the fire department but I knew no one could have survived.
“They arrived within minutes and managed to rescue him from the room. They performed CPR on him outside for 40 minutes, but it was no use.”
Humberside police Detective Inspector John Cram said: “The death is being treated as unexplained at this time.”
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