Newall sails into storm over medal from Falklands

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The Independent Online
Roderick Newall (right), the former Army officer serving a life sentence for the murder of his parents, has become embroiled in a row in the Falkland Islands, over a decision to honour him for his athletic prowess.

Newall made many friends in the Falklands when he briefly settled on the South Atlantic outpost after using his dead parents' money to sail around the world.

His outgoing personality made him popular in Port Stanley and he was willing to run errands in his yacht, delivering Christmas parcels to isolated farmsteads and helping out during the sheep-shearing season.

In 1991 he surprised the islanders by winning their annual running race. The mile-long contest, which takes place at Pebble Island on West Falkland, is part of a week-long sporting festival.

Patrick Watts, who organises the event, and is head of broadcasting for the Falkland Islands Broadcasting Service, decided to present Newall with his winning medal in a special visit to La Moye prison on Jersey where the killer is serving his sentence.

He said he had not had a chance to present Newall with the medal before he was arrested by the Navy while sailing his yacht. "There are quite a lot of [Falkland Islanders] who remember Rod and think a lot of him," he said.

But others disagree. One said: "It has caused a lot of anger. Astonishment, actually. Newall is a disgusting person who killed his parents for money and personally I think that giving him a medal is absolutely outrageous."