Kenya police seek more arrests after former British Army officer is hacked to death by burglars

Former commander of a local army base was killed with machete before gang of five made off with valuables

Kenyan police said on Monday they were closing in on an armed gang that murdered a former British Army officer during a machete attack after they broke into his home.

David Parkinson, 58, the general manager of a 49,000-acre ranch in central Kenya, was slashed several times at his home near Nanyuki in central Kenya and died of his wounds, according to reports.

Marius Tum, Laikipia east police commander, said detectives investigating the murder were pursuing important leads that could lead to the arrest of more suspects. He told the Daily Nation that one suspect had been arrested in a nearby village on Sunday morning and was still in police custody.

The family spent yesterday waiting for the arrival of the couple's daughters to witness the post-mortem examination, it was reported.

The group smashed their way through a glass door while Mr Parkinson and his wife Sonja, 52, were sleeping early on Sunday. While some of them attacked Mr Parkinson, others tied his wife’s hands.

Mrs Parkinson was able to escape to a secure room and locked herself inside, emerging only when she was sure the attackers had gone. The local police chief, Marius Tum, told reporters: “The wife – who had been tied up – managed to escape into a strong room, only to return to find that her husband had been fatally wounded in some kind of scuffle.”

Police said one man had been arrested over the attack and they were pursuing leads that could lead to the arrests of other suspects, according to Kenya’s Daily Nation newspaper. The gang stole a laptop, a mobile phone, a small amount of money, ornaments and a bottle of champagne.

The couple’s two daughters live in Britain and are expected to travel to Kenya.For the past eight months, Mr Parkinson worked as general manager of the Lolldaiga Hills cattle ranch, near the Mount Kenya national park. He had lived in Kenya for the past decade after serving with the Parachute Regiment for 30 years from 1973. He rose to the rank of lieutenant colonel and was awarded an OBE in 1998, according to his LinkedIn profile.

Mr Parkinson worked as a conservationist and spent five years as the deputy director of a nearby game reserve, where Prince William proposed to Kate Middleton in 2010. The prince, who met Mr Parkinson, was said to be saddened by the news of his death, according to a spokesman.

Locals visiting to pay their respects said Mr Parkinson had helped to improve the roads in the area and gave casual jobs to locals. “He was a very good man,” said Esther Muthoni.

Harry Bucknall, who served in the Army with Lt-Col Parkinson, said he was devastated by the death of his friend. “Good people who loved Kenya and did so much for the locals. They didn’t deserve this,” Mr Bucknall said. “He was the best; a loyal and devoted friend. We had so many great times together.”

In London, the Foreign Office confirmed the death of Lt-Col Parkinson. “We are aware of his death and we stand ready to provide consular assistance to his family at this sad time,” a spokesman said.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
News
peoplePair enliven the Emirates bore-draw
Arts and Entertainment
tvPoldark episode 8, review
News
Britain's opposition Labour Party leader Ed Miliband (R) and Boris Johnson, mayor of London, talk on the Andrew Marr show in London April 26
General electionAndrew Marr forced to intervene as Boris and Miliband clash on TV
News
United States President Barack Obama, right, uses actor Keegan-Michael Key from Key & Peele to play the part of 'Luther, President Obama's anger translator'
video
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: Senior Accounts Assistant - Accounts Payable - St. Albans

£26000 - £28000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: Senior Accounts Assistan...

Ashdown Group: Treasury Assistant - Accounts Assistant - London, Old Street

£24000 - £26000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, glo...

Recruitment Genius: Installation and Service / Security Engineer

£22000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company is part of a Group...

Recruitment Genius: Service Charge Accounts Assistant

£16000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you a a young, dynamic pers...

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence
Public relations as 'art'? Surely not

Confessions of a former PR man

The 'art' of public relations is being celebrated by the V&A museum, triggering some happy memories for DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef succumbs to his sugar cravings with super-luxurious sweet treats

Bill Granger's luxurious sweet treats

Our chef loves to stop for 30 minutes to catch up on the day's gossip, while nibbling on something sweet
London Marathon 2015: Paula Radcliffe and the mother of all goodbyes

The mother of all goodbyes

Paula Radcliffe's farewell to the London Marathon will be a family affair
Everton vs Manchester United: Steven Naismith demands 'better' if Toffees are to upset the odds against United

Steven Naismith: 'We know we must do better'

The Everton forward explains the reasons behind club's decline this season
Arsenal vs Chelsea: Praise to Arsene Wenger for having the courage of his convictions

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Praise to Wenger for having the courage of his convictions