A German tourist was shot dead in Bedford yesterday in an attempted robbery at the hotel where she and her husband were staying in a group of 50 for the town's river festival. Police said Johana Sirglinda Czardebon, 56, died after two masked men in Balaclavas entered the town's County Hotel at 12.20am, both carrying guns. They demanded cash from the staff, and made a failed attempt to open the safe. One of the German party on a visit from Bedford's twin town Bramburg appeared at the door of the bar and was battered with in the stomach with a gun. Seconds later Mrs Czardebon, who was sitting with her husband and friends, was killed when a sawn-off shotgun was fired. The gunmen ran out of the hotel and disappeared.
Police are hoping the two men may have been seen in the town centre. Detective Superintendent Dick Read said: "This was an armed robbery which went tragically wrong. Her husband is devastated ... The party can't quite believe it." Rebecca Fowler
Dunblane inquiry, page 4