British teacher is shot dead in Georgia flat

Click to follow
The Independent Online

A young British teacher has been shot dead in the former Soviet state of Georgia in circumstances local police describe as mysterious.

A young British teacher has been shot dead in the former Soviet state of Georgia in circumstances local police describe as mysterious.

Nigel Ockenden, who had been in the capital Tbilisi for three months, was shot in the back at his flat in the middle of the morning last week. Nothing was stolen and there were no signs of forced entry.

Last night the 27-year-old's mother, Eleanor Ockenden, said: "It is not a simple situation and more may come out. But we may never ever know." She and her husband Richardwere waiting for news. Speaking from the family home in Caterham, Surrey, Mrs Ockenden said of her only child: "He was fascinated by places and people and wanted to go there because it was different. He was just a very, very wonderful person, very intelligent and it is just devastating."

Irakli Topuria, director of International House where Mr Ockenden taught English to adults and one class of 11- and 12-year-olds, said police were interviewing staff and pupils at the school. "I know the police are doing their best but they have not got a clue or any reason for the murder." Mr Ockenden had worked in Poland and Mongolia before heading to Georgia. The Warwick University philosophy and politics graduate was earning about $550 (£280) a month with a flat and health insurance paid for by the school.

Last night Patrick McCarthy, a fellow teacher who shared a flat with him close to the school until three weeks ago, said his flatmate was a very intelligent, private man. Despite Georgia's reputation as a lawless country, he said neither of them had been worried about crime.

Comments