AFRICANGLOBE – A former British Army officer has been killed by an armed gang at his home in Kenya, it has been reported.
Lieutenant-Colonel David Parkinson, 58, was killed with a machete after the suspected robbers, who were also carrying a gun, broke into his house in the early hours of Sunday morning.
His wife Sonja managed to flee the attack and lock herself in a store room until the gang had left, only to return and find her husband dead, according to reports.
The couple were targeted at their Lolldaiga Hills cattle ranch in the town of Nanyuki, Laikipia, in central Kenya.
Before moving to the ranch, Parkinson, who had served with the Parachute Regiment for 30 years, had helped to run a nearby game reserve which became the setting for the Duke of Cambridge and Kate Middleton’s engagement, the paper reported.
Parkinson, who received an OBE in 1998, is said to have became the deputy director of the Lewa wildlife conservancy after he retired as commander of a local army base.
William spent part of his gap year at the wildlife reserve, before returning with Kate in 2005, and again in 2010 where he proposed to her, the newspaper said.
A spokesman for the prince said he was saddened to learn of the death of Parkinson, whom he had met at the reserve.
Police reportedly said the armed robbers stole a laptop, phone and some ornaments.
The local police chief, Marius Tum, told reporters: “The wife – who had been tied up – managed to escape into a strongroom, only to return to find that her husband had been fatally wounded in some kind of scuffle.”
He said a post-mortem would be conducted to determine the cause of death.
A suspect was arrested from a nearby village following a police search with sniffer dogs, local media said.
The British Foreign Office confirmed Parkinson’s death.
“We are aware of his death and we stand ready to provide consular assistance to his family at this sad time,” a spokesman said.