Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 28 August 2014

Man guilty in Briton murder case

David Tebbutt, 58, was shot and killed when the group burst into the couple's villa in Kenya

A man has been sentenced to death for the 2011 killing of a British tourist who was shot dead and his wife kidnapped by Somali gunmen at an island resort on the Kenya coast.

David Tebbutt, 58, was shot and killed when the group burst into the couple's villa at a remote resort in September 2011. His wife, Judith, was abducted and and taken to Somalia where she was held for more than six months before eventually being released.

Ali Babitu Kololo, who guided the kidnappers to the resort and the Tebbutts' location, has been found guilty of robbery with violence, a spokesman for the Metropolitan Police said. He was convicted following an investigation by the Kenyan authorities with assistance by officers from the Met's Counter Terrorism Command (SO15).

A small team of SO15 officers travelled to Kenya shortly after Mr Tebbutt's murder and matched footprints found on the beach after his wife's abduction to the shoes worn by Kololo when he was arrested shortly after the incident.

Officers also provided expertise in forensic evidence, assisted Kenyan prosecutors as they prepared for the trial and provided family liaison support to the family.

Head of SO15, Commander Richard Walton, said: "The Kenyan investigation remains on-going and we are committed to helping them bring David's killers and those who put Judith through such a long ordeal to justice. I'd like to pay tribute to Judith, her son Oliver and their family who have all shown extraordinary courage and dignity.

The Tebbutts, from Bishop's Stortford, Hertfordshire, travelled to the resort, which is close to the African country's border with Somalia, after visiting the Masai Mara game reserve.

Mrs Tebbutt, a former social worker, was reported to have told Kololo's trial she immediately felt nervous about security after arriving at the beach resort for the two-week stay and was uneasy that she and her husband were the only guests.

She was reunited with her son Oliver and flown back to Britain in March last year following her release. It was reported her family paid a ransom of 1.3 million US dollars (£800,000) to free her. She revealed after her release that she did not know the gang had killed her husband for two weeks after she was kidnapped.

A Foreign Office spokesman said: "We welcome efforts by the Kenyan authorities to bring those responsible for the kidnap of Judith Tebbutt and the murder of her husband, David, to justice. Today's news that Ali Babitu Kololo has been found guilty of robbery with violence is a positive development, but the wider Kenya investigations continue."

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