Monday, September 14, 2009
British consul killed in 'homophobic' attack in Jamaica – note on his bed called him a 'batty man'
A British honourary consul has been found murdered at his home in Jamaica, in what police believe is a homophobic attack.
John Terry, 65, was found at his home with severe head injuries and a cord and piece of clothing around his neck. He is thought to have been beaten around the head and upper body with a lamp. Post-mortem examination results released today showed he died of strangulation.
A note found on the bed called him a "batty man" – a homophobic term of abuse. It added: "This is what will happen to ALL gays" and was signed "Gay-Man".
Although Mr Terry's wallet and phone were stolen, police do not believe robbery was a motive for the killing.
According to various reports, a detective working on the case said: "It might be that someone took exception to Mr Terry.
"We do have reports that he has been seen with another man. It is likely he could have known his killer.”
Mr Terry's body was discovered on Wednesday afternoon after a neighbour raised concerns that a light had been left on all night. There was no sign of forced entry to the property.
He was the British honorary consul to the Montenegro Bay area and had worked for the past 12 years helping tourists who had gotten into difficulties.
He is thought to have separated from his wife three years ago. She and his two children live in Kingston, Jamaica's capital.
Jamaica is known to be one of the most homophobic countries in the world. Gay sex between two men can carry a ten-year jail sentence or hard labour. Sex between two women is currently legal but many lesbians face persecution.
Foreign secretary David Miliband offered his sympathies to Mr Terry's family: "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."