Kenya: murdered British army officer's widow pays tribute to husband

Lieutenant Colonel David Parkinson’s widow, Sonja, also condemns his killers but says she intends to remain in Kenya

The widow of a former British army officer murdered at their Kenyan home by an armed gang intends to remain in the country they both loved, she said.

Police in Kenya said they were pursuing important leads following the murder of Lieutenant Colonel David Parkinson, 58, who was killed with a machete when five robbers, also armed with a gun, broke into the house as the couple slept in the early hours of Sunday.

His wife Sonja, 52, managed to flee the attack and lock herself in a strong room, emerging once the men had left to discover her husband dead, according to local reports.

In a statement on Tuesday she condemned his killers as evil and his murder as senseless.

The thieves are believed to have been taken a number of items, including a laptop, a phone, a bottle of champagne and her purse, thought to contain very little money.

The couple, originally from Hurstpierpoint in West Sussex, were attacked at their Lolldaiga Hills cattle ranch in the town of Nanyuki, 125 miles from Nairobi.

Parkinson, who served with the Parachute Regiment for 30 years and received an OBE in 1998, was a leading figure in conservation. He spent five years as deputy director at the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy, a nearby game reserve, and had been responsible for the management and development of Lolldaiga Hills, a 49,000-acre ranch and conservancy since January. He was also a director for the eastern unit of the Laikipia Wildlife Forum.

As the couple’s daughters, Anna, 33, and Renate, 30, travelled from the UK to Kenya, his wife paid tribute to their father.

“David was brutally killed in the most senseless way. The men responsible for his death are evil. We hope that they will be caught and brought to face the full consquences of their actions. At present they remain at large and continue to pose a serious threat to others,” she said in a statement released through the British high commission in Nairobi.

“In our darkest hours, whilst trying to make sense of the loss and my husband and Anna and Renate’s father, we have been uplifted by the overwhelming support that we have received from the communities that we live in and work with, and from the swift and professional response by the Kenya Police Service and the Kenyan administration. “David was a good man, a loving husband and great father, son and brother. After his military career he directed his energies into conservation and training in Kenya. His activities have resulted in direct improvements to the lives and skills of many in the surrounding community. They too are telling us that his loss is also their loss and that they too are sharing our pain”.

She continued: “I intend to remain in Kenya. Like David I love the country and its peoples. My family are keen to continue his legacy,”

Police commander Marius Tum said detectives investigating the murder were pursuing important …read more  

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *