British consul murdered in Jamaica 'was asphyxiated'

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The Independent US

A British honorary consul murdered in a suspected homophobic attack at his home in Jamaica died of asphyxiation after being beaten and strangled, it emerged today.

Post-mortem results are expected to reveal John Terry died from strangulation by ligature, according to Jamaica Constabulary Force spokesman Karl Angell.



But detectives on the Caribbean island said today they were still awaiting official confirmation of the cause of death.



Mr Terry's body was discovered in his bedroom with a head wound at 1.30pm on Wednesday, police said.



Officers are investigating the possibility it was a homophobic attack as a hand-written note on Mr Terry's body described him as a "batty man", local slang for a homosexual, according to reports.



The 65-year-old father-of-two served as the honorary consul in Montego Bay, a popular tourist destination.



New Zealand-born Mr Terry was found in the bedroom of his Montego Bay home with cord and clothing round his neck, according to police.



Mr Angell said yesterday the report from the post-mortem indicated Mr Terry died as a result of asphyxia due to ligature strangulation associated with other injuries to the neck and head.



The authorities have not revealed any possible motive and no arrests have been made.



Michael Garrick, deputy superintendent in charge of crime for the district, said early investigations suggested there was no forced entry.



Mr Terry separated from his wife three years ago and she and their children live in the Jamaican capital Kingston, reports said.



Foreign Secretary David Miliband paid tribute to the diplomat last night and said he would be "greatly missed".



He said: "John Terry was a key member of our team in Jamaica and had been an honorary consul for 13 years, but with many years of other service to the British community in Jamaica before then.



"Honorary consuls like John play a valuable role in our work overseas and this was especially true of John, who helped many, many British visitors to Jamaica over the years.



"My thoughts are with his wife and children.



"He will be greatly missed too by colleagues and all those who knew him."



Tributes were also paid in Jamaican newspapers to the "caring" member of the community.



Joy Crooks, administrator for the Committee for the Upliftment of the Mentally Ill, said Mr Terry helped with various charitable events.



"It is very sad for us to know that John has passed in such a horrifying way," she told the Jamaica Gleaner. "It is frightening. He was a kind and caring individual and did anything he could to help the less fortunate."



A fellow magistrate, George Corrodus, told the Jamaica Observer: "His death has caused a lot of shock and will receive a lot of sympathy.



Mr Terry worked in the tourism industry for around 30 years and was made an MBE in 1992.



He was also the maintenance manager at a hotel in Montego Bay.



Honorary consuls are volunteers who help British nationals and others for whom the UK Government has consular responsibility abroad.



They receive no salary from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office but some are paid a small honorarium, around £2,000.

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