Besotted RAF chief wrote schoolboy love letters to woman, court is told

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A senior RAF officer accused of murdering his wife wrote besotted `schoolboyish' love letters to his Serbian mistress. She was prepared to `prostitute herself', a court was told yesterday. Kim Sengupta reports.

The letter was long but the content did not vary. Squadron Leader Nicholas Tucker, aged 44 with two teenaged children, had written repeatedly, line by line, "I love you" over six pages to a 21-year-old Serbian interpreter, Dijana Dudukovic, a court was told yesterday.

Sqn Ldr Tucker also telephoned Ms Dudukovic at least once a day over two weeks while she was living in Geneva, the jury was told. It is alleged he had murdered his 52-year-old wife Carol in a staged car crash after becoming infatuated with the blonde while on duty as an UN observer in Bosnia.

Bertrand Du Pasquier, Ms Dudukovic's landlord in Geneva, told Norwich Crown Court that Sqn Ldr Tucker also telephoned at least once a day for two weeks. After he had called to say his wife was dead, Ms Dudukovic felt her future was "breaking down". He continued: "She said, `Now I am ready to do anything, I am even ready to prostitute myself and even go with an older man if I can find one'.".

Mr Du Pasquier said Sqn Ldr Tucker wrote regularly to Ms Dudukovic, although she did not write back. Mr Du Pasquier claimed she was "tricky and manipulative" and wanted to make a secure future for herself in Western Europe. She is now married and living with another man in Switzerland.

He said: "He rang her at least once a day, sometimes twice. Sometimes lasting five minutes, sometimes 50 minutes. One letter from him was very surprising. One had five or six pages pages with the same words repeated all the time like a schoolboy tradition. He was repeating all the time `I love you' line by line. I read about five pages. I didn't read all the pages. It was signed Nick, she burned the letters."

Two days after Mrs Tucker's death the Sqn Ldr rang Ms Dudukovic what had happened. Mr Du Pasquier said: "After that call she realised it was not possible for her to go to England with him as was planned. She realised her future had broken down and that she was ready to do anything, even prostitute herself and go with an older man if she could find one."

Mr Du Pasquier met Ms Dudukovic while acting as a UN refugee official in former Yugoslavia. He said he had let her stay at his place in Switzerland as a favour to her parents who were worried about her safety during the war. He denied, under cross-examination by David Cocks QC, for the defence, that he had any " sexual intentions" towards her.

Sqn Ldr Tucker, of Honington, Suffolk, denies murder. The case continues.