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
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
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

Recruitment Genius: Massage Therapist / Sports Therapist / Physio / Osteopath

£12000 - £24000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An opportunity has arisen for o...

Recruitment Genius: Account Manager / Sales Executive - Contract Hire

£35000 - £60000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This industry leader provides c...

Recruitment Genius: Project Coordinator

£28000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Project Coordinator is requir...

Recruitment Genius: Area Sales Manager - Midlands

£20000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Day In a Page

John Palmer: 'Goldfinger' of British crime was murdered, say police

Murder of the Brink’s-MAT mastermind

'Goldfinger' of British crime's life ended in a blaze of bullets, say police
Forget little green men - aliens will look like humans, says Cambridge University evolution expert

Forget little green men

Leading evolutionary biologist says aliens will look like humans
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: An Algerian scientist adjusts to life working in a kebab shop

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

An Algerian scientist struggles to adjust to her new life working in a Scottish kebab shop
Bodyworlds museum: Dr Gunther von Hagens has battled legal threats, Parkinson's disease, and the threat of bankruptcy

Dying dream of Doctor Death

Dr Gunther von Hagens has battled legal threats, Parkinson's disease, and the threat of bankruptcy
UK heatwave: Temperature reaches 39.8 degrees on Central Line - the sweatiest place in London

39.8 degrees recorded on Tube

There's hot (London) and too damn hot (the Underground). Simon Usborne braved the Central line to discover what its passengers suffer
Kitchens go hi-tech: From robot chefs to recipe-shopping apps, computerised cooking is coming

Computerised cooking is coming

From apps that automatically make shopping lists from your recipe books to smart ovens and robot chefs, Kevin Maney rounds up innovations to make your mouth water
Jessie Cave interview: The Harry Potter star has published a feminist collection of cartoons

Jessie Cave's feminist cartoons

The Harry Potter star tells Alice Jones how a one-night stand changed her life
Football Beyond Borders: Even the most distruptive pupils score at homework club

Education: Football Beyond Borders

Add football to an after-school homework club, and even the naughtiest boys can score
10 best barbecue books

Fire up the barbie: 10 best barbecue books

We've got Bibles to get you grilling and smoking like a true south American pro
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - Junk balls and chop and slice are only way 5ft 1in Kurumi Nara can live with Petra Kvitova’s power

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon Files

Junk balls and chop and slice are only way 5ft 1in Kurumi Nara can live with Petra Kvitova’s power
Ron Dennis exclusive: ‘This is one of the best McLaren teams ever – we are going to do it’

‘This is one of the best McLaren teams ever – we are going to do it’

Ron Dennis shrugs off a poor start to the season in an exclusive interview, and says the glory days will come back
Seifeddine Rezgui: What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?

Making of a killer

What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?
UK Heatwave: Temperatures on the tube are going to exceed the legal limit for transporting cattle

Just when you thought your commute couldn't get any worse...

Heatwave will see temperatures on the Tube exceed legal limit for transporting cattle
Exclusive - The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Swapping Bucharest for London

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Meet the man who swapped Romania for the UK in a bid to provide for his family, only to discover that the home he left behind wasn't quite what it seemed
Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

Solar power will help bring down electricity prices over the next five years, according to a new report. But it’s cheap imports of ‘dirty power’ that will lower them the most