Morocco couple row claims 'untrue'
Monday 29 August 2011
The families of a couple who were killed in separate falls while on holiday with their four sons said claims they had a "furious argument" before the double tragedy were "totally untrue" and "deeply hurtful".
Roger and Mathilde Lamb were on holiday with their children in the tourist resort of Essaouira on Morocco's Atlantic coast when they died in separate incidents.
The exact circumstances of the death of the husband and wife, from Pensham, near Pershore, Worcestershire, are still unknown.
It has been reported that neighbours heard the pair arguing just minutes before Mrs Lamb, know as Tilly, plunged to her death from the apartment her family were staying in.
But her brother-in-law Mark Rogerson, speaking on behalf of the couple's families, today dismissed the claims.
He said: "Reports of an argument between Roger and Tilly shortly before her death are utterly and totally untrue - as well as being deeply hurtful to the family.
"There was no argument at all. It was an amicable holiday. They were discussing the possibility of relocating the family to New Zealand."
Mr Rogerson, who lives in France, said that one of the couple's sons had given his version of the events leading up to the first tragedy.
He added: "On the night in question, there was a great deal of noise outside the apartment.
"Somebody started knocking on the ground-floor door of the building. Tilly leaned out to see who it was and to tell them to leave.
"Because of an awning at first-floor level, she could not see the door below. She leaned out further and fell. The source for this information is one of the Lambs' sons, who was in the apartment at the time."
Mr Lamb died after a separate fall at a different building a few days later, the Foreign Office confirmed.
The couple's sons, who are aged between nine and 16, are now in the UK being looked after by relatives.
Mr Rogerson said they heard about Mrs Lamb's death on August 18 after she apparently fell the previous night. They then heard about Mr Lamb's death last Monday.
Mr Rogerson said Mrs Lamb would have been 44 next month, while her husband was 47.
A previous statement released by Mr Rogerson said: "Roger and Tilly's families have been deeply shocked and saddened by their tragic deaths while on holiday in Morocco.
"Our principal concern at the moment is to provide love and support to their four sons who have had to suffer the loss of both a mother and a father in swift succession."
Mr Rogerson, who described the couple as "lovely", said geotechnical engineer Mr Lamb worked for some time in New Zealand, and there had been discussions about the rest of the family moving there.
The Rev Terry Henderson, rector for Great Comberton in Worcestershire, where Mrs Lamb's elderly mother lives, paid tribute to the couple.
He said they were very much part of the community through their children's school, Elmley Castle Church of England School.
"In a small rural community like this, when news like that is suddenly made known, the community, because they know the couple so well through the school, are traumatised by it because in a rural community you get to know people very well," he said.
He said Mrs Lamb was chairman of the school's parent-teacher association (PTA) for several years and both she and her husband were very involved with the school.
"They were very much a part of the community through the school. I hear that one of her sisters is looking after the children," he said.
But he said it was still unclear exactly what had happened: "There is lots of speculation, nobody knows quite what happened.
"You hear people say 'Oh this must have happened', but it's speculation. Nobody really knows what happened."
Mrs Lamb's body will be repatriated to Wiltshire, where some of her family come from, Wiltshire Police confirmed. It is not yet known to where her husband will be repatriated.
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