Detectives quiz man over assault on Bermudan diplomat George Fergusson

 

Detectives are questioning a man in connection with the mugging of a senior British diplomat who was attacked while walking through a cemetery and left partially blinded.

Bermuda's new Governor George Fergusson had surgery on his left eye on Saturday after being attacked in Hammersmith Cemetery, west London, but his sight in the affected eye could not be saved, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) confirmed.

The 56-year-old received other facial injuries in the attack on Friday night but managed to walk to a nearby hospital. He was discharged by doctors yesterday afternoon.

Police are questioning a 29-year-old man on suspicion of robbery after he was arrested yesterday evening.

He is being held in a west London police station, Scotland Yard said.

An FCO spokesman said Mr Fergusson, who lives in Lambeth with his wife Margaret, was still expected to take up the post of Governor on the tiny British overseas territory next month.

He has previously served as Governor of the Pitcairn Islands and high commissioner to New Zealand and Samoa.

Mr Fergusson was attacked at around 7.30pm while walking in Margravine Cemetery and Park, also known as Hammersmith Cemetery. A small quantity of cash was taken.

A Metropolitan Police spokesman said: “Anyone with any information that may assist police should call Hammersmith and Fulham CID on 020 8246 2413 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.”

Mr Fergusson said was determined to move to the Caribbean next month to take up the post of Governor of Bermuda despite the attack.

“I have been lucky,” he told The Daily Telegraph.

“There are still lots of things you can do with one eye - normal day-to-day things.

“It will not stop us going to Bermuda. We are still thoroughly looking forward to it.”

The old Etonian and Oxford graduate revealed he had spent two days in Birmingham discussing policing issues before returning to the capital to have dinner with friends.

“I was running slightly late and I was walking through the park looking at my mobile to check their address when a man appeared in front of me demanding my phone,” he said.

“He followed up with a punch to the eye and I could feel something pretty bad had happened.

“I fell and he held me down. I was conscious. He punched me a couple of other times as he demanded my wallet, took about £50 and then he left. He did not take my phone.

“I was able to gather my stuff and knew that Charing Cross hospital was about 400 yards away. I dialled 999 for the police and I then set off to the hospital.”

He continued: “It seemed unreal. It was all over very quickly. He hit me with a very powerful punch, which disorientated me.

“It was very clear from the first punch that my eye had been severely injured. I have lost the sight in my left eye.”

PA

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