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Bodyguard's widow rebukes 'uncaring' Foreign Office after his death in Kabul

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Critical: John Finucane MP

Critical: John Finucane MP

Critical: John Finucane MP

A north Belfast widow has criticised the Foreign Office for a lack of support over her husband's death in the British Embassy in Kabul earlier this year.

Father-of-three Mark Taylor died in mysterious circumstances in the Afghan capital in April.

Mr Taylor (46), who had served with the British Army for 14 years, was working as a close personal protection officer for G4S guarding diplomats at the embassy.

Almost five months on Jennifer Taylor says she has not been given precise details of the circumstances surrounding her husband's death.

Two post-mortems have proved inconclusive.

Mrs Taylor says she feels let down by the Foreign Office, claiming she had not been offered any support or guidance since her husband's body was found on April 2.

Despite reaching out to officials for help to fly her husband's body directly back to Belfast, his remains arrived home via Dublin.

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She said the situation was handled in an appalling way.

"When his body was flown to London, they were trying to figure out how to return him to Belfast. I contacted both the Foreign Office and the British Embassy in Kabul to basically beg for help in flying him back to Belfast to get him home to his children.

"I never even got a reply from either of them," she told the BBC.

Mrs Taylor said her husband's body had been "shipped up" to Belfast from Dublin "like a piece of lost luggage".

She said the Foreign Office should help and support her family and officials should telephone her or visit and "do something instead of nothing".

Mrs Taylor is appealing for more information about her husband's death and has a series of unanswered questions about his final hours, including why a healthy young man would go to bed and "simply not wake up".

She said suicide or foul play were ruled out, and prior to his death her husband was "really happy", although the day before he died he did sound unwell.

It's understood that Mr Taylor's inquest will take place in December in London, but a new law that would allow the hearing to happen in Belfast has not been commenced here.

North Belfast MP John Finucane said the way the Taylor family had been treated was "absolutely despicable".

He said while he appreciated the "unusual circumstances" posed by the Covid-19 lockdown, the structures in place should have allowed for "accurate information, decency and compassion" to be extended.

The Sinn Fein man said while he hoped a lot of questions would be answered at the inquest, the Foreign Office needed to "step up" now and help Mrs Taylor and her three children Owen, Aimee and Jorja.

"If you wanted to create an atmosphere where by people are suspicious, then the Foreign Office have done just that through their lack of support for Jennifer," he added.

The Foreign Office said: "Our staff continue to support the family of a British man following his death in Kabul in April. Our thoughts are with his family at this difficult time."


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