Ex-Army officer linked to Royals killed in Kenya

Lt Col Parkinson
Lt Col Parkinson

A retired British Army officer who ran a game reserve where the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were guests has been killed in a botched robbery at his home in Kenya.

Lieutenant Colonel David Parkinson, 58, and his wife Sonja were attacked after a gang of five robbers, armed with machetes and a gun, broke into their house in the Lolldaiga Hills, a wildlife farm, in the early hours of Sunday.

During the confrontation, Lt Col Parkinson’s hand was cut off and he was fatally wounded, police said.

Local police chief Marius Tum said the intruders entered the couple’s bedroom by breaking a glass door using a large stone.

They ordered the couple to hand over money and guns.

“One of the gang members was armed with a pistol, another with a machete while the rest had crude weapons. While one of them was terrorising Mr Parkinson the others tied his wife’s hands with ropes,” Mr Tum said.

However, Mrs Parkinson who had sustained a cut on her back managed to untie herself and escaped to a strong room where she hid herself until the robbers fled.

On returning to the main house she found the body of her husband on the floor, police said.

Mr Tum said a post-mortem examination would be carried out to determine the cause of Lt Col Parkinson’s death.

On Sunday afternoon, a suspect from a nearby village was arrested after police mounted a major manhunt using sniffer dogs.

Lt Col Parkinson, who had a distinguished career in the Army for 30 years, worked as the manager of the Lolldaiga ranch in Laikipia East district since 2008.

Before that he was a director of Lewa Wildlife Conservancy in Kenya where Prince William spent his gap year helping with various conservation projects before taking up his place at St Andrews University.

The Foreign Office confirmed the death of Lt Col Parkinson.

“We are aware of his death and we stand ready to provide consular assistance to his family at this sad time,” a spokesman said. – Sky News