British soldier admitted Cyprus killing

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The Independent Online

Associated Press

Larnaca - One of three British soldiers accused of killing a Danish woman admitted doing so in a statement read by police in court yesterday.

In the statement, Alan Ford, 26, of Birmingham, describes in detail how Louise Jensen, 23, a tour guide from Hirthals, Denmark, was battered to death with a spade after she was kidnapped near the south-east tourist resort of Ayia Napa on the night of 12 September 1994. "I was very scared and very drunk. I couldn't think rationally. I don't remember picking up the spade but I hit her on the head with the flat side just hard enough to knock her unconscious," Ford said in a statement he signed two days after the killing.

The statement added: "It didn't work as she shouted something in [a] foreign [language]. Up until then I didn't even know where she was from.

"I hit her again the same as before and she slumped sideways. I know she wasn't dead because I could still hear her breathing. She looked like she was asleep. There didn't appear to be any blood at all on her face and head at that point."

Ford then tried to implicate the other two accused, who were with him at the time: "Somebody grabbed the spade off me and pushed me away. I just stared at her face. I couldn't move and my eyes would not look away from her face, then the spade hit her, I think her neck, and again and again ... I didn't look who was hitting her." The statement went on to describe how Jensen was hurriedly buried by the three accused in a shallow grave in an empty field. "My mind was blank, I tried to think out of desperation and fear I tried to scrape soil over her with my hands and feet. One of the others threw a rock on to her head.

Jensen's battered and naked body was found in a shallow grave two days later when the accused led police to the site.

The three British soldiers were arrested at a police roadblock with bloodstains on their clothes about 90 minutes after Miss Jensen's Cypriot boyfriend reported her abduction to the police. The trio have pleaded not guilty to charges of manslaughter, kidnapping and conspiracy to rape.

The others accused are Pvt. Justin Fowler, 26, of Falmouth, Cornwall, and Pvt. Jeff Parnell, 23, of Oldbuty, West Midlands.

All three sat impassively in the dock as a police officer read Ford's statement.