Soldiers 'waited like wolves for a victim'

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The Independent Online
Three British soldiers charged with killing a Danish tour guide on the holiday island of Cyprus last year were waiting like wolves for a victim, a court was told yesterday.

The boyfriend of the victim, 23-year-old Louise Jensen, said the three soldiers accused of beating her to death with a spade deliberately lay in wait for them - then knocked them off their motorcycle with a beach buggy.

Riflemen Alan Ford, 26, Justin Fowler, 27, and Jeff Pernell, 23, stationed at the British base of Dhekelia are charged with abduction, conspiring to rape and the manslaughter of Jensen, a guide in the Ayia Napa holiday resort. They plead not guilty. It is alleged the defendants' yellow buggy knocked Ms Jensen and her Cypriot boyfriend Michalis Vassiliades, 22, off their motorcycle outside an Ayia Napa petrol station. Ms Jensen was abducted and two days later her body was found in a shallow roadside grave.

Mr Vassiliades, a waiter, said that minutes before the incident he was in the petrol station filling up his motorcycle. The soldiers' buggy was parked at adjacent pumps that were out of order. Mr Vassiliades, testifying at the Cyprus Assizes based in the coastal town of Larnaca, said: "They stopped there and waited, to see who was going for petrol to grab them." He agreed with defence lawyer Christos Pourgourides that the defendants appeared to be lying in wait like a wolf waits for its victim. "As they did," said Mr Vassiliades.

He told the court he felt hatred for the defendants. "I hate them. I only want to see a good conviction ... if there were capital punishment ... I don't know," he said.

The trial continues.